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Full text of "Claude Lightfoot : or, How the problem was solved"

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries 



http://www.archive.org/details/claudelightfootoOOfinn 




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CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT 

OR 

HOW THE PROBLEM WAS 
SOLVED 

BY 

FRANCIS J. FINN, S.J. 

Aatbor of "Percy Wynn," "Tom Playfair." 
"Harry Dee," etc. 




Nbw York, Cincinnati, Chicago 

BENZIGER BROTHERS 



p. 



s 






FATHER FINN'S FAMOUS STORIES 

Each volume with a Frontispiece^ 

Candles' Beams. Short Stories 

Sunshine and Freckles 

Lord Bountiful 

On the Run 

Bobby in Movieland 

Facing Danger 

His Luckiest Year. A Sequel to '"Lucky Bob'' 

Lucky Bob 

Percy Wynn; or, Making a Boy of Him 

Tom Playfair; or, Making a Start 

Harry Dee; or, Working It Out 

Claude Lightfoot; or. How the Problem Was Solved 

Ethelred Preston; or. The Adventures of a Newo<»aer 

That Football Game; and What Came of It 

That Office Boy 

Cupid op Campion 

The Fairy of the Snows 

The Best Foot Forward; and Other Stories 

Mostly Boys. Short Storie» 

His First and Last Appearance 

But Thy Love and Thy Grace 



Copyright, 1893, by Benziger Brothers. 

Printed in the United States of America 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGB 

III which Claude puzzks Frank Elmwood, . . • 7 

CHAPTER n. 
In which Claude attracts the attention of his teacher, 22 

CHAPTER HI. 

In which Claude surprises his sister Kate, and John 
Winter surprises everybody, 33 

CHAPTER IV. 

In which Claude cultivates the acquaintance of Mr. 
Russel and becomes a member of the "High- 
fliers," .... o • ... 40 

CHAPTER V. 

In which the reader obtains a glimpse of Claude and 
Kate at home, 53 

CHAPTER VI. 

In which Claude loses his temper, and puts himself 
decidedly in the wrong, 62 

CHAPTER VII. 

In which Claude astonishes his examiners in cate- 
chism, and Harry Arch^t- in matters of base-ball, y\ 



4 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

PAGS 

In which Claude pitches against the Rockaways, and 
meets with another trial, 79 

CHAPTER IX. 
EfiL which Claude spends two days in bed, . ♦ '91 

CHAPTER X. 
In which Claude meets with his cross, . , . • 98 

CHAPTER XI. 
In which Claude makes his escape, • • • • 106 

CHAPTER XII. 
In which Kate and Claude are bitterly disappointed, . 109 

CHAPTER XIII. 
In which Mr. Russel unwittingly prophesies, • • 117 

CHAPTER XIV. 

In which Willie Hardy, the "light villain* of tke 
story, appears upon the scene, . . . .123 

CHAPTER XV. 
In which Cl^ide amuses himself with a btdl, , X33 

CHAPTER XVI. 
In which Claude takes to poetry, . • • » •142 

CHAPTER XVII. 

In which is given an account of a novel fishing ex- 
pedition, . 1 • • • • ^ ^ TSI 



CONTENTS. S 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

PAGB 

In which Claude gives an exhibition in diving, and is 
taken prisoner, 164 

CHAPTER XIX, 
In which Kate brings Claude joyful news, . • • 171 

CHAPTER XX. 
Father Barry's story, . . . . , . • 175 

CHAPTER XXI. 
In which Claude tells a story, 202 

CHAPTER XXII. 

In which Willie Hardy acts as guide with unfortunate 
results, and Claude, on being found, makes the 
most astounding declaration of his life, • .215 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
The new Tarcisius, ••••••• 226 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

Conclusion, ••••••«« ^ d^ 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 



CHAPTER I. 

iM WHICH CLA UDE PUZZLES FRANK ELM WOOD, 

^^rpHAT new-comer's a queer boy/' observed 

J[ John Winter. 

"He's lively as a kitten," said Rob Collins. 
"I've been keeping an eye on him ever since the 
beginning of recess, and I don't think there's a 
sqiiare foot of ground in the college yard he hasn't 
passed over. He's tripped up five or six fellows 
already, and just managed to get off being kicked 
at least twice. I think," added Rob, solemnly, 
and bringing into use the latest knowledge he had 
gleaned from a passing fit of attention in Chemis- 
try class, " I really do think that he's one of the 
Mercury Compounds. " 

When^upon Frank Elmwood, the third of the 
group, rang a " chestnut bell," in answer to which 
Rob indignantly disclaimed any attempt at joking. 

"Look," exclaimed John, breaking in upon the 

playful dispute of these two bosom friends, "your 

1 



8 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Compound of Mercury is going to get into trouble, 
I'm afraid; he's fooling around Worden." 

" Worden will kick him, sure," prophesied Rob. 

"Yes, and hard, too, the overgrown bully,*' 
commented Frank, with a certain amount of bit- 
terness in his voice and a frown upon his pale, 
energetic face. 

The three speakers were leaning at ease against 
the storm-door, which opens upon the playground 
of Milwaukee College. It was ten o'clock recess, 
and the yard was everywhere alive with moving 
human figures. Like birds of swift passage, base- 
balls were flying through the air in all directions, 
and, on the run, of course, the multitudinous legs 
of small boys were moving from point to point. 
During recess the younger students seldom con- 
descend to walk, but yielding to their natural and 
healthy inclinations, spend that quarter of an hour 
in a state of what is for the most part breathless 
animation. But among all these flying figures, 
the new-comer was eminently conspicuous. He 
seemed to move upon springs, which, in their 
perfection, just fell short of wings. 

On the way to Worden, he startled Charlie 
Pierson, the quietest lad in the college, by leaping 
clean over his shoulders. Charlie had been stand- 
ing engrossed in watching a game of "Nigger 
Baby," his head bent forward, his hands clasped 
behind his back, and, fortunately for the nonce, hi* 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 9 

legs spread so as to afford him a good purchase 
for the shock, when without warning the young 
madcap came flying over his head. 

"Confound your cheek," cried Charlie, the lazy, 
benevolent smile on his face almost disappearing, 
" if I catch you, ril pound your muscle till it*s sore." 
And as he spoke, he took after the dancing madcap. 

"Whoop! Hi! hi! Catch me," sang out Rob's 
Chemical Compound, as with his head craned so 
as to keep his pursuer in sight, he broke into 
a swift run, followed heavily and clumsily by 
Charlie, tvho was not given to hard exercise. 

Now it so happened that Dan Dockery, a lively 
lad and intimate friend of Charlie, had been in- 
tently watching the proceedings of the young 
vaulter. Taking advantage of the fleeing boy's 
position of head, Dan planted himself, without 
being observed, in the path of the runner. As 
he had desired, a collision followed. Dan stag- 
gered back a few steps, while the lively youtli 
bounded to one side like a rubber ball, rolled over 
and over, rose with a spring and a bound, and be- 
fore Charlie could catch him, sprang away, and 
dashed head first into the stomach of no less a 
person than the bully Worden. 

For the moment, Worden lost all power of 
speech, but retained sufficient presence of mind to 
grasp his unwitting assailant in a vise-like grip. 

Thus caucrht in the toils, the new-comer set 



1© CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

about a process of wriggling and squirming which 
it is difficult to imagine ^nd impossible to set 
down. Legs and arms writhed and bent, while 
the whole body twisted and turned in every con% 
ceivable posture, till the eye became dazed and 
blurred in following the swift changes. But 
Worden, still choking and gasping, held on grimly. 
The small boy who butted Mm in the stomach was 
not likely to forget the incident to the last day of 
his life. 

" You wretched little rowdy," he began, recover- 
ing his breath, and endeavoring to put his captive 
into a position where he could best be kicked, 
" 1*11 teach you a lesson. *' 

By way of reply, the small boy effected a 
miraculous wriggle, which brought him through 
Worden's legs, and rendered the intended opera- 
tion of kicking, for the time being, impracticable. 
But Worden still preserved his hold, and at once 
made a strenuous effort to bring the wriggler back 
into position. 

At this point Pierson and Dockery, who de- 
spised Worden, as bullies are wont to be despised 
by the small boy, came to the rescue. 

They sang in unison, 

"Worden, Worden 
Went a-birdin' 
On a summer's day: 
Worden. Worden, went a-birdia*. 
And the birds they flew away. *' 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. " 

And theia by way of chorus, a dozen youngsters 

in the vicinity chimed in with — 

"Worden, Wotden went a-birdin' 
And didn't he ran away." 

This was too much for the hero of these dog- 
gerels: releasing his intended victim, he started 
off in chase of his serenaders. 

The cause of all this disturbance now made 
directly for the trio, who were still leaning against 
the storm-door. 

"What a stout pair of legs he's got'/' exclaimed 
Collins. "And he moves with such ease. I 
never saw a little chap in knee-breeches yet that 
looked so strong and so graceful." 

"Yes," assented Elmwood. "And at the same 
time, he has such a sunny face: it's a healthy face 
too. It's not too chubby, and his complexion is 
:reallyfine." 

"And look at the smile he wears," continued 
John Winter. "It's what I would call sympa- 
thetic." 

"Ahem!" grunted Rob. 

"I mean," said John coloring, "that it makes 
you feel gay to look at it. You can see from the 
straight way he holds himself and from his build 
that he's a mighty strong little chap. He looks 
mrniy — that's the word. His hair is really sunny. 
He's really a pretty boy." 

"Pshaw," growled Frank, "sunniness may be 



12 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

the right word, but prettiness certainly isn't 
Almost any little boy, who's dressed well, and 
who's not thoroughly bad, looks pretty. But this 
little chap is interesting. " 

"Hallo, Specksy!" cried the object of these 
remarks, who had been staring at his critics for 
full half a minute. 

Rob and John joined in a laugh at Frank's ex- 
pense. Though only seventeen, Frank wore 
spectacles. 

" Hallo! Sublimate of Mercury." 

"You're another, and twice anything you call 
me," came the quick answer. "I say, I like this 
school immensely. There's a yard to it where a 
fellow's got room enough to move around in." 

"What school did you go to before you came 
here?" Frank inquired. 

" Sixteenth District till a few days ago. " 

"What happened then?" 

"I got expelled." As he made this answer, he 
favored Frank with a series of winks. He had 
blue eyes, not over-large, but with a snap and 
sparkle about them which added much to the sun- 
shininess of his appearance. 

" Stop your winking, and tell us why you were 
expelled," pursued Frank. 

The artless youth had been hopping about im- 
patiently during this dialogue, and, as Frank put 
him the last Question, he flew at John Wt^ter, 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. \% 

seized John's hat, and, without further ado, took 
to his heels. 

With an ejaculation expressive partly of amuse- 
ment, partly of annoyance, John took after him. 
He was the youngest and smallest of the trio — • 
indeed, though a member of the class of Poetry, 
he still went about in knickerbockers — but in run- 
ning he was second to none of his class fellows. 
After a sharp pursuit, he captured the snatcher of 
hats, and brought him back wriggling to Frank 
and Rob. 

"Now," puffed John, retaining his firm grasp 
pn our young friend*s wrist, "tell us about youf 
being expelled. " 

"I was expelled for nothing — there," with a 
wriggle. "Let me go, will you?*' More wrig- 
gles. "Let me go I say." Still more wriggles. 
"Ow-w-w-w! Stop squeezing!" 

And in a seeming paroxysm of pain, the wrig- 
gler fell into a complete state of collapse, and 
hung limp, a dead weight from John's hand, while 
lines and spasms of pain chased about his most 
expressive face. 

Softened by pity, John let go. In a flash, the 
limpness was gone, and the brightest, happiest^ 
sunniest boy, his hair shot with gold, and dancing 
to its owner's motions, was hopping and skipping 
before the three poets, his right thumb raised to 
his pretty little nose, and four fingers wriggling 



14 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

like the fingers of an excited Italian in the heart 
of the Italian game of Mora. 

"Yah! yah!— fooled you, didn't I? Oh, didn't 
I take him in, Specksy?" 

" Tell us how you got expelled,'* said Rob, " and 
I'll give you some chocolate caramels." 

There was a cessation of hop and skip. 

" How many?" 

** Five or six." 

" Will you give me one to start on?" 

Rob handed him a caramel. 

*' Now," continued the sunny one, as he put the 
candy in his mouth, '*how'll I know that you'll 
give me the rest?" 

" Well I suppose you can trust me. " 

"No, you don't. I know your brother Walter, 
and he says you're no good. — You just pass those 
caramels over to Specksy: I like Specksy. " And 
the frank young gentleman glanced at Elmwood 
with open admiration. 

"All right, Johnny," said Rob, as he executed 
the condition. 

"You needn't call me Johnny," continued the 
new-comer, sidling toward Frank, and making a 
sudden but unsuccessful grab at the candy in his 
hand. " My name is Claude — Claude Lightfoot, 
and don't you forget it, Specksy." 

In answer to this appeal, Frank gave him a 
caramel. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 15 

"We're not particular about your name/' put i» 
John Winter, anxious to quote 

'"'^Hiat's in a name? That which we call a rose— — * 

"Just what I was going to say/' interrupted 
Elmwood, with a mischievous twinkle in bis eye. 
" Goon, Claude, and tell us about your expulsion." 

" It was all on account of a billy-goat and a 
lightning rod. '* 

"Ah!" said Rob. "Did the billy-goat strike 
the lightning rod?" 

Before replying Claude extorted a third caramel 
from Frank. 

"No, it didn't. Last Wednesday a fellow 
stumped me to bring my billy-goat to school. 
General Jackson (that was his name) behaved 
like a gentleman as long as we were outside the 
school building. I tied him up in the yard ; but 
just as soon as I started to go into school General 
Jackson began to get frisky; and then the fellow 
that stumped me loosed him, and he came bump- 
ing in after me " 

" Who? The fellow that stumped you?" 

"No; the general. I wanted to run him out; 
but a lot of fellows stood at the door and shooed 
at him. Then General Jackson got mad, and 
went just a-tearing down that hall, and sent a lot 
of girls a-squealing, and one or two of them 
sprawling; and I came charging after. Some of 



l6 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

those girls said that I was setting him on. 1 
caught the general after he had scared the wits 
out of two of the women teachers — one of 'em had 
her hand on her breast, and it was heaving like 
anything, and the other was standing on a chair 
with her skirts gathered about her, the way they 
all do when they see a mouse. The principal 
eame down on me then " 

"Where did he come down on you?" 

"On my hands — both of them, and said that 
next time I cut up, he'd expel me for being some- 
thing or other-— uncursable, I think he said." 

"Incorrigible, you mean, Claude," suggested 
Winter. 

" That's it. I only heard the word once, and I 
was too excited to notice how he said it. So I 
went home and made up my mind not to take any 
more risks. But the next day, a fellow stumped 
me just before class to climb up the lightning rod 
to the third story, and offered me a big apple if 
I'd do it I forgot to think, and caught hold of 
that lightning rod, and began to climb it hand 
over hand " 

" Where did you learn to climb?" Frank inquired. 

"I didn't learn at all, Specksy: it just came 
natural, I reckon. So I got up almost as high as 
the second story, when one of those lady teachers 
saw me from a third story window. And maybe 
aiie didn't veil! Then a couple of other teachers. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. I? 

of course they were ladies, who heard her singing 
out, put their heads out, and they just howled, 
and I tell you I began to work my way down as 
fast as I knew how ; but it was no use. Before I 
got to the ground, the principal was standing at 
the door, and making eyes at me through his 
specks. When I got on my feet, he asked me 
whether I could find my way home. He was 
awful funny with me ** 

"Sarcastic, you mean," said Rob. 

" Maybe I do, — anyhow it was a funny way erf 
being funny. He told me never to show my face 
in that school again; and that fellow wouldn't 
give me the apple, either. He wouldn't even 
give me half. So I went home feeling bad about 
it all— " 

"Especially about the apple," suggested Frank. 

"That's so, Specksy; it was mean. I told Ma 
and Kate all about it. You see I wanted them to 
fix it all right with Pa, who's awful fond of the 
public schools. " 

" Did he go to the public schools himself?" 

"No; he was born in Canada, and didn't come 
here till he was twenty. " 

"Well, Claude," said Frank, "it's about time 
for you to come to a Catholic school anyhow. " 

" Sure. It suits me all over, " answered Claude, 
who was now making repeated endeavors to touch 
^e back of his neck with the sole of his right 



I8 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

foot. " Ma*s been wanting me to go ever since i 
left Miss Wilton's private school two months ago. 
She and my sister Kate are anxious for me to get 
ready for my First Commtmion. Pa was vexed 
and wanted to put me to work. When Ma and 
Kate won him over, then the President of this 
College didn't seem to care about taking a boy 
that had been expelled. Then I got a letter from 
Miss Wilton, and Kate had a long talk with the 
President, and now Fm here on trial. Pa says he 
hopes they'll expel me from this College too. But 
Pa is so careful about me ; you see he wants me 
to be an American." 

"Why," put in John, "were you born in New 
Zealand?" 

"Aw, now, aren't you funny? I was born here 
just as much as you were, and twice as much too. 
Pa thinks that if a boy wants to be an American 
he's got to go to an American school." 

"What's the matter with this college?" queried 
Rob, 

" I don't know what's — " Here Claude sprang 
upon Elmwood's back, and was within a little 
of bringing that dignified young gentleman to 
the ground. As Claude's evident intention was 
merely to demonstrate the warmth of his friend- 
ship, Frank contented himself with reaching back 
after Claude, and setting the young bundle ol 
taerves upon his feet again. 



CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. If 

"If you don't behave yourself, sir,*' he said 
with a suppressed smile, " Fll put you over my 
knes. " 

Claude was about to make some derisive com- 
ment upon this remark, when suddenly his face 
changed, and he darted away like a minnow when 
it catches sight of a pike. Worden, in this in- 
stance, was the pike. He came rushing past the 
three poets with an expression of anticipatory 
triumph, when Frank Elmwood caught him by 
the arm. Quick as thought young Winter, who 
was something of a wag and a tease, seized Wor. 
den's right hand, and shook it warmly. 

"How are you, Worden? Glad to see you," 
cried John, with a malicious grin. 

"And I say, Worden, old boy, you're losing 
your dignity, " added Frank. " What's your hurry, 
anyhow?" 

Worden, fully Frank's equal in size and weight, 
was meantime endeavoring to break away from 
the strong, nervous grasp upon his arm, and in 
two minds as to swearing at these grinning 
captors. 

" Look here, Elmwood, let go. Drop my hand. 

Winter. Let go, I say. Let go. Conf you 

fellows are making a fool of me." 

"They might just as well try to make a square 
circle," put in Rob as with a bow and a smile he 
advanced to welcome amiable Mr. Worden, who 



1»4> CLAUDE LIGMTFOOT. 

lea" a wonder kept his temper lest something worse 
should happen him. 

*' Is the Mercury arrangement out of reach yet?" 
asked Frank of Rob. 

"Sure! he's at the far end of the yard, trying 
to see how high he can kick." 

"All right: you can go, Worden, and next time 
you get after a small boy, you heroic fraud, we 
hope you'll have worse luck than you had now." 

Worden looked bowie-knives at Frank, puflfed 
his lower lip into a baby pout, stuck his thumbs in 
his vest, and walked away with a sorry attempt at 
dignity. He made no further offer that day to 
wreak vengeance on Claude ; for, although he was 
not a boy of fine discernment, there was something 
in the tone of Frank's voice which he recognized as 
a note of warning. 

As Worden walked away, Frank's face settled 
into an expression of study. He took off his 
glasses, and, while eying them with his severest 
look, rubbed them vigorously. 

"A penny for your thoughts, Frank," ventured 
Rob. 

"I'm thinking of that sunny scalawag who is 
now kicking his legs about as though there never 
had been a yesterday, and it never occurred to 
him that there'd be a to-morrow. He's bound to 
have hard times, just as sure as he lives to grow 
up. At nresent he has about as much sense of 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. a I 

responsibility as a kitten. Now, I'm wondering 
how he'll develop. It's so hard to imagine almost 
any small boy changing into a man. But in most 
you can see a faint streak of seriousness. But 
Claude strikes me as being the concentrated 
essence of small boy, and I can't even begin to 
imagine how or when he'll change." 

"Oh, I guess it'll come about in the ordinary 
way," said John Winter. "We were all small 
boys once — you needn't grin at me because I'm in 
knickerbockers. I can write verses and essays — 
and yet three years ago, I used to wonder how 
boys in Poetry class could do those things." 

"I think you've given the true solution," said 
Rob. "We change with years: and Claude will 
take his medicine just as we did and change in 
the usual way. " 

"I don't believe it: I can't imagine it," said 
Frank. 

And Frank was right. Claude's change was 
not to be the work of time. The difficulties of 
that change, its seeming impossibility, and its 
sudden accomplishment form the subject-matter 
of this narrative. 



22 CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 



CHAPTER II. 

J N WHICH CLAUDE ATTRACTS THE ATTENTION OF HIS 

TEACHER. 

CLAUDE, during the morning hour preceding 
recess, had passed through all the formali* 
ties required of a new-comer. It was after his 
interview with our three poets that he made his 
first appearance in the class of Third Academic. 

Frank Elmwood had discovered a problem in 
Claude; it devolved upon the teacher of Third 
Academic to attempt the solution. Mr. Grace was 
an excellent teacher. In point of order, his was a 
model class; and his pupils, with scarcely an 
exception, were impressed by the piety and de- 
votion which he taught by example as well as by 
word. But his influence was by no mean^ in keep- 
ing with the respect which he inspired. Many of 
his scholars, — all his lively boys, in fact,— were 
content with simply admiring him. They did not 
understand their teacher; he did not understand 
them. His words of counsel, his exhortations 
failed to reach their hearts. They revered Mr. 
Grau:e ; they esteemed him ; they would be willing, 
were the matter directed to their attention, to 
atgn a petition for his speedy canonization, ajad 



CLAUDE LIG'ITTFOOT. 23 

to give witness to his heroic virtues: but the 
heights of their admiration reached that thinner 
air where there is no thriving growth of imitation. 
Mr. Grace had never been a real boy. He had 
grown from childhood to manhood with his eyes 
fixed upon the tipper realms. His school compan- 
ions had called him a saint, and, unstinted in their 
words of praise, had subjected him to all manner 
of teasing. Without meaning it, they had fre- 
quently not stopped short of downright cruelty. 
The " saint'' had borne his trials with such open- 
eyed wonder and unchanging meekness, that he 
had in the long run subdued nearly all his tor- 
mentors. Nevertheless, these petty persecutions 
had left upon him an indelible impression. He 
had noticed, without accounting for the fact, that 
there were two kinds of boys — boys that teased 
him, and boys that did not. His observations 
moving a step further had led him to perceive 
that those who teased him were wild, noisy, full 
of life, and that those who did not were gentle, 
quiet, and pleasant of manner. Now Mr. Grace had 
nothing of the dramatic faculty. He could not put 
himself in another's place. As a boy, he could 
not understand his lively companions ; as a man 
he met with the same difficulty. He still recog- 
nized but two classes, the wild and the quiet. He 
was too charitable to allow himself to think any 
boy with whom he had to d^al really bad. But if 



«4 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

he had been forced to a decision, he would cet 
tainly have classed all quiet boys as being good, 
and all noisy boys as being bad : and after his first 
hour's experience with Claude I dare say that he 
would have put that young gentleman's name at 
the very head of the latter list. 

But if Mr. Grace failed to sympathize with the 
harum-scarums, he none the less managed them 
well. He was quite a disciplinarian, and his 
firmness and method succeeded, only partially it 
is true, in atoning for his invincible lack of insight. 

Mr. Grace took in at a glance something of the 
excessive liveliness which distinguished Claude 
at this period of his development ; and, in conse- 
quence, seated the young wriggler on the front 
bench which directly faced the professorial chair. 
Before the end of an hour, Mr. Grace discovered 
that, in the way of fidgeting, he had sadly under^ 
estimated Claude's capacities. 

And yet Claude was clearly on his best behavior; 
he opened his book with a fixed expression of 
resolve upon his face, and following each word 
with his finger-end and with a painstaking move- 
ment and mumbling of the lips, he thus entered 
tipon his college career with an output of zeal too 
intense to stand the wear and tear of many minutes. 
It was the hour assigned for Arithmetic class, and 
Mr. Grace had allowed his scholars five minutes 
to memorize the rule for compound proportion. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 25 

Before half of that time had expired Claude 
raised his head, and fixing his dancing eyes full 
upon his teacher, snapped his fingers : forty boys 
grinned quietly, and became interested. 

"Sh!" warned the teacher. 

" I know that rule, Mister. Just hear me say 
it- 

An unmistakable giggle went from one end of 
the room to the other : it was short-lived ; for Mr. 
Grace's stem glance was the signal for perfect 
stillness. 

Mr. Grace left his seat, and bending over Claude 
whispered in his ear: 

" My boy, no one is allowed to snap his fingers 
in this class — there's no need of making such a 
noise. If you want to call my attention to any- 
thing, simply hold up your hand. Again, no one 
should speak in class, not even to me, without 
permission." 

Claude was crushed. It was not the substance 
of what was said that subdued him, but the man- 
ner. The quiet, subdued whisper is the strongest 
weapon against a young'^ter's boisterousness. If 
he shout and the professor answer in kind, th^ 
confusion gathers force : but a whisper in return, 
a quiet look — these are too much. Mr. Grac6 
knew this secret of discipline, and, I must corf ess, 
sometimes employed it to the verge of cruelty. 
His method of maintaining order gave no outlet 



2f3 V£AUVM LIGnTFOOT. 

to the overflow of animal spirits: he had never 
suffered from such an overflow himself. 

Claude, with an injured expression, again bent 
his eyes on his book, while one hand went up ab- 
sently to the top of his head, and the other to hia 
chest. The former hand began patting the fair 
hair, while the latter moved up and down. It 
was quite a feat to do this — any boy reader knows 
how hard it is — and Charlie Pierson and Dan 
Dockery, seated behind our hero, were in a sub- 
dued ecstasy of delight at Claude's deftness. Still 
conning his book, Claude's hands absently reversed 
thtir motions, the upper hand doing the rubbing, 
the other the patting. Charlie felt tempted to 
applaud and Dan gave a snicker. 

" Take your hand off your head, and stop fidget- 
ing," whispered Mr. Grace, 

" I ain't doing nothing. " 

"Study, then." 

" I know this " 

"Sh!" 

Then this poor victim of class-room discipline, 
innocently twirled his thumbs — one going in the 
opposite direction to the other. Mr. Grace allowed 
this proceeding simple tolerance. The five 
minutes being up, the teacher required all to close 
their books, and, beginning with the boy in the 
furthest bench, heard the recitation. While the 
first boy called upon was hesitating on the last 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 2J 

three words of the rule, Claude received the fol- 
lowing note : 

"Anybody can twirl his thumbs. Why don't you wag 
one of your ears? " Dan Dockery. " 

Before he had torn this note to pieces one of 
Claude's ears twitched, quivered, and actually did 
wag. Restraint was no longer possible : Dockery, 
Pierson, and some half dozen boys broke into a 
roar. Mr. Grace had not witnessed the moving 
of the ear ; but he perceived from the fact that the 
laughers were watching Claude that the cause of 
the disturbance was on the front bench. 

'"Come here, Claude." 

With a skip and a bound, which nearly upset 
the class-dignity for the second time, Claude was 
at the teacher's desk. 

" Why are you trying to disturb the class?" 

"I'm not trying to disturb anything. I was 
just trying to make my ears work, and one of 
them wouldn't go." 

There are professors who would have had some 
difficulty in keeping serious after this naive con- 
fession. Not so Mr. Grace. He looked upon the 
lively boy as being capable of saying or doing 
anything. He never knew what the small boy 
might say or do, at any given moment ; but it was 
all one to him : he was ever expecting the unex- 
pected. So he received this explanation with un- 
imi>aired seriousness. 



«« CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

"It's a great loss of time for you, Claude, to 
give so much attention to your ears. This is the 
place for learning, not for gymnastics. Go to 
your seat, and keep quiet. " 

*' I can't, Mister.'' 

"Try your best, Claude: if at first you don't 
succeed, I'll help you with a few lines to memo- 
rize. " And Mr. Grace smiled very sweetly. 

Claude on resuming his seat caught hold of his 
desk with both hands, determined to reduce those 
unruly members to subjection ; and set about pay- 
ing attention in a fresh spurt of zeal. He seemed 
to forget that he had legs and feet, however; and 
kicked energetically into the air, one little foot 
and then another flying up flush with the top of 
his desk. 

Mr. Grace, while hurrying through the recita- 
tions, ignored these demonstrations. 

"Now," said the teacher, when all had been 
heard, " if Claude will be good enough to put his 
feet where they belong, and pay attention, I'll 
show you how to carry out the rule you have just 
memorized. " 

Claude was taken aback to such an extent that 
he could make no reply. He had been all atten- 
tion. He had had his eyes fixed on Mr. Grace, 
and had devoured his every feature. And in truth 
Claude had been impressed with the fine, low, 
broad brow, under the mass of soft chestnut hair: 



i 



CLAUDE UGHTFOOT. 29 

with the noble eye, clear, steady, unmistakably 
frank ; with the handsome oval of the face, pale 
and somewhat thin, yet revealing in its every line 
the student and the ascetic. Not a trait escaped 
his keen, quick, inquisitive eyes. What struck 
him most of all was the air of holiness upon Mr. 
Grace's features, and just as he was making up 
his mind that he liked a man-teacher far better 
than he liked any woman-teacher, there came this 
stinging rebuke. 

How in the world could he be expected to keep 
track of his legs, while bending all his forces ta 
bring into proper subjection his hands and fingers 
and head and ears, and at the same time follow 
everything that was going on in class? 

But he was not utterly discouraged. Fastening 
a steady gaze upon his mischievous legs, and 
bringing his hands folded before him so that he 
could embrace them in the same glance, he re- 
solved not to move a muscle till the end of class. 
It was an heroic determination. And indeed after 
three minutes — the while Mr. Grace went on 
working out in all calmness a problem at the 
blackboard — there was hardly a part of Claude's 
anatomy which did not claim his attention. There 
was an ache here, and a cramp there; his face 
itched, his feet threatened to go asleep, and 
Claude was morally certain, early as was the 
season, that a fly was disporting upon his neck 



3® CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Ah! if he could only capture that fly! One 
minute passed in this state of torture ; the perspi- 
ration began to gather on the young hero's cheek. 
A new ache, another stitch, another fly — so it ap- 
peared to Claude, — then a host of itches seemed 
to swoop down upon him, till at length the poor 
"boy could no longer stand under a fire so galling. 
He gave one wriggle, and half rising from his seat 
stretched himself at full length, ending the per- 
formance with a great sigh of relief, while class 
and professor watched him with rounded eyes. 

"Yawning isn't allowed," whispered Mr. Grace 
at his ear. 

*Can I go out, sir?" 

" No; you've only been in ten minutes." 

" Let me go to the board and do a sum, then. I 
know how it's done." 

Mr. Grace did not quite understand this young 
gentleman's trouble; but by good fortune some 
one had to go to the board, and in consideration 
of the fact that Claude was a new-comer, he grant- 
ed him this last request. Our little wriggler was 
now in his element. Snatching up a blackboard 
eraser, he hopped from one end of the board to the 
other — it extended the full length of the room — 
rubbing out everything in his track with a super- 
fluous energy, and ceasing regretfully from his 
labor when there was nothing more to erase. 

No sooner had Mr. Grace enunciated the prob- 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 3 1 

l^vsx^ than in a fever of energy Claude jotted down 
the conditions, and, not without many hops, extra- 
ordinary bendings of thie legs, and much flying of 
chalk-dust which powdered his pretty little face, 
worked it out perfectly. 

" Please, Mister, give me another one. " 
"Couldn't you first explain the various steps 
you have taken?'* 

"Oh, yes, sir.*' Whereupon our little Claude, 
who was very nimble of tongue, and by no means 
timid, launched into an explanation, which he 
accompanied with some very expressive wriggles. 
His request too was granted. Mr. Grace, wh© 
was studying how to reduce this piece of anima- 
tion to discipline, thought that a half hour at the 
blackboard might throw some light on the ques- 
tion. So Claude got himself into layers of chalk, 
and hopped about ecstatically, and succeeded in 
showing that he was really first rate in arithmetic. 
When he returned to his seat, he was quite quiet 
and, beyond daubing his nose unintentionally 
with a bit of ink and dropping all his books with 
j|v a thud upon the floor, the last quarter of his first 

hour in class was in every way commendable. 



3» CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 



CHAPTER III. 

IN WHICH CLAUDE SURPRISES HIS SISTER KATE, AND 
JOHN WINTER SURPRISES EVERYBODY. 

AT twenty-nine minutes past three, a small boy 
was bending the crab and diversifying this 
exercise by walking on his hands in front of the 
Notre Dame Convent-school. At half after three, 
a bell sounded and the small acrobat, jumping to 
his feet, picked up his books and stationed him- 
self at the school door. 

Presently the girJs came trooping out, talking 
volubly according to the amiable manners of their 
sex and time of life. The small boy did not seem 
to concern himself with the musical stream of 
chatter, nor did he bestow more than a cursory 
glance upon any one of the talkers, till his eye 
lighted upon a little Miss of fifteen smiling and 
silent among the chatterers. 

" Hi ! Kate, '* he shouted, and with unintentional 
rudeness he elbowed a young lady aside, and gave 
Kate a brotherly kiss. 

"Why, Claude,'* exclaimed Kate in astonish- 
ment, "what brought you here?** 

"My feet, Kate: both of them. You see, I 
wanted to surprise you. Fve come to take you 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 33 

home, and I'm going to come every afternoon. 
See! I've kept it secret all day. Mamma was in 
it, and she likes it ever so much. The College 
lets out at three, and it gives me just time enough 
to come here and catch you. We'll have great 
times going home together every afternoon. " 

Kate's eyes shone with delight, and her pretty 
cheeks took on a deeper flush and dimpled into 
smiles. No one looking at the two would fail, 
even in a passing glance, to perceive their rela- 
tionship ; and no one watching them in this short 
change of greetings would hesitate to say that if 
ever brother and sister loved each other, and were 
proud of each other, that brother and sister were 
Claude and Kate. 

There was the same complexion, Kate's being 
a trifle more delicate; the same facial expression. 
The girl, older by three years, was far maturer. 
Her eyes were very bright, very blue, and as they 
gazed into Claude's face, very tender. She lacked, 
of course, much of Claude's liveliness — and it was 
well she did. One can stand only a certain 
amount even from a boy, and Claude exceeded 
that. The easy good nature of Claude appeared 
in her softened and refined. People would style 
it sweetness, and, were it not that the word has 
been cheapened, I could sum up the description 
of Claude's sister by saying that she was a sweet 
girl. 



34 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

Claude had a good mother. She had fostered 
by every art and device the love between this 
happy-go-lucky lad and the wiser sister. She had 
happily succeeded; and these two little ones knew 
each other's hearts, and loved each other in ful- 
ness of measure. 

The vision and memory of Kate was the most 
effectual breakwater to Claude's extravagance. 
He knew that he was to render her an account; 
and often he paused on the verge of some daring 
scheme, checked by the image of her sweet, sad, 
reproving face. 

"It was so kind of you, Claude," said Kate. 
" It will make the last hour of class pass lightly 
to think that you are on the way to meet me as I 
come out. And then such talks as we'll have on 
the way home." 

** Yes; it'll be immense. And look here, Kate, 
it'll make me behave the last hour of class; or I'll 
be put in *jug, ' and won't have a chance to coma 
and take you home." 

At this point Claude, reversing the conven- 
tional etiquette, put his arm through his sister's, 
and Kate was too overjoyed to correct this breach 
of decorum, as they walked gayly down the street 
toward the river which divided the East side of 
the city from the West. 

"What's the 'jug,' Claude?" 

" That's what the fellows call it. If you're kept 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 35 

in by your teacher, you've got to stay in after 
class in one of the class-rooms and work ont yonr 
punishment. All the other fellows who are kept 
in have to go to the same room. That's the jug, 
and it keeps going for half an hour. *' 

" You must try to keep out of that, Claude, or 
it will spoil everything. " 

" I came near being in jug this afternoon, all 
the same,** remarked Claude, going a little out of 
his way and dragging Kate after him in order to 
give a stray oyster can an energetic kick. 

"Did you?" 

"Yes: my teacher Mr. Grace is a nice man; 
and he looks like a saint. All the chaps in our 
class say so, even those who are down on him. 
But he is awful correct. He wants a fellow to be 
just so. He doesn't give me any chance. If he'd 
only get mad, I wouldn't mind. But he looks so 
nice and quiet. Once when he came up to me, 
he was smiling — and that's the time he came 
down on me hardest. The boys in our class say 
he never gets rattled; but look out for him when 
he smiles and looks very amiable. Dan Dockery 
said a funny thing, Kate; he said, ^When an 
Indian goes on the war-path, he puts on his war 
paint, but Mr. Grace puts on a smile. ' Well, after 
class Mr. Grace called me, and he looked so nice 
and amiable, I thought he was going to give me 
something- He said. * Claude, you've been very 



3^ CLAUDE LIGMTFOOT, 

troublesome to-day, and you'd better go to jug 
now and write one hundred times " I must not 
FIDGET IN CLASS." ' Now that was awful hard, 
Kate, for I had been looking forward all day to 
springing this surprise on you. So I tried to beg 
off. I said I had done my best, and he smiled. 
I said it was my first day, and he smiled. I said 
I wouldn't do it any more, and he looked just like 
a picture-saint. Then I felt like crying: and I 
out and told him the whole truth." 

"That's where you should have begun, dear," 
said Kate. 

" I guess it was, Kate. As soon as I told him 
how anxious I was to meet my sister, he stopped 
smiling and began to think. Then he said I 
might go." 

While Kate and Claude are crossing the Grand 
Avenue bridge, it may be worth while accounting 
for Mr. Grace's act of mercy. 

"This boy," he had reflected, "needs all the in. 
fiuence of his sister to tone him down. If h^ 
walks home with her every afternoon, he will not , 
be tempted to break lamp-posts, ring door-bells^ 
and steal rides on street-cars. " 

As they walked along the Avenue on the " West 
Side,'* Claude narrated every circumstance of his 
day's adventures, from the first hour of class to 
the last, when he disturbed the ranks by jumping 
ova: a boy's head. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 37 

Kate listened with interest and sympathy. Sh^ 
had no word of blame for her little darling ; but 
she stood np for Mr. Grace. 

" Yon must try to like your teacher very much, 
Claude," she said in her quiet, earnest way. " It's 
the first time you've ever had a religious for a 
teacher, and you need a little piety, dear. *' 

" That's so," answered Claude, resisting a temp^ 
tation to vault over a hitching-post. " And you 
should have heard him in Catechism class. You 
could see that he was in dead earnest, and ho 
spoke so nicely. " 

Claude's appreciation was just. Mr. Grace was 
at his best in teaching Christian Doctrine. Were 
it not for his want of sympathy for the wilder 
lads, which many of them returned with rev- 
erential dislike, Mr. Grace through his devout 
instructions might have bound each and every 
one by the golden chain of love to the feet of 
God. 

"And remember, Claude," continued Kate, 
Hhat to those who don't understand you, you are 
a very troublesome boy. Mr. Higgins, our next 
door neighbor, thinks you ought to be in jail; 
don't you remember how he told you the other 
day that he thought you were possessed by the 
devil?" 

Claude's voice rippled into a silvery wave of 
laughter, and in the brief spell of mirth he so 



38 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

far forgot himself as to take a flying leap over 
a large box of goods which they happened to be 
passing. 

" Is that the way yon intend to escort me home, 
dear?" asked Kate with her gentle smile. 

"Oh, I beg pardon, Kitty; I clean forgot. 
When you reminded me of Mr. Higgins, I conld 
have jumped over a telegraph pole almost." 

"Claude," continued Kate, "you haven't tolcj 
me about the most important thing of all." 

"I know it," said Claude, on the point of clap*, 
ping his sister on the back, " and I kept it back 
a-purpose. " 

"Tell me, dear: I've been thinking about it all 
day." 

"The vice-president says that I'm just in time; 
they began the First Communion class about two 
weeks ago. The First Communion day is to be 
on the last Sunday in May, and to-day is the 
thirtieth of April. There are ten boys besides 
myself in First Communion class." 

"So, dear, we've only a month to get ready: 
we must pray hard and be very good." 

"Yes, Kate, we'll do our best: I'm a little 
afraid, though. They put off a boy if he doesn't 
behave well: and, Kitty, it's so hard for me to 
behave when you're not around." 

Kate felt prompted to kiss the little man out of 
hand. — but Grand Avenue was a crowded thorough- 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 39 

fare. In lieu of this she patted the muscular arm 
which was drawn through hers. 

"And there's another thing, Kitty, we'll have 
to begin to study our Latin after supper/' 

" I've begun already," said Kate. 

"What!" cried Claude, leaping into the air 
(considerately taking his arm out of Kate's in 
doing so) and bringing his heels together three 
distinct times. 

"Now, Claude! — Well I began one week ago 
at the Latin. As soon as Papa made up his mind 
to send you to college, I knew we'd have to begin 
Latin, so I made a start at once, in order to help 
my frisky little brother. There now. That's my 
surprise. " 

"Kitty, you're a darling." 

And it was with some difficulty that Kate suc- 
ceeded in keeping her brother from openly testify- 
ing his gratification in a demonstrative hug. 

They were now passing the Public Library ; and 
Claude's quick eye caught sight of two young men 
as they stepped off the elevator, at the entrance 
df that building. 

"Why, Kitty, here are two of the boys I was 
tilling you about. Hi! Frank — John!" 

The two poets, each with a book under his arm, 
turned to see the Mercury Compound, all motion 
as to his lively legs, pirouetting beside a girl. 

" I'm glad we've met you. I've just been tell* 



40 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

ing my sister about you two and Rob Collins, and 
she wants to know you. Kate, this is Frank Elm- 
wood, and this is John Winter. They're poets, 
and I guess they write poetry books." 

Kate held out her hand gracefully to each, and 
clearly showed that she was pleased to meet h^ 
brother's friends. 

"I'm glad to meet you, Mr. Elmwood, and — " 
Kate paused, for Winter was in knee-breeches^ — 
••and Mr. Winter." 

"If you are, call us Frank and John," laughed 
Frank, his eyes twinkling behind his spectacles. 

John Winter was not quite at his ease. He was 
a bashful youngster, and not knowing what to do 
with his arms put them akimbo, and blushed still 
more. 

"Claude was telling me about his brush with 
Worden, and how you two came to his help. It 
was very nice of you." 

"We — eh — we fooled Worden bad," blurted out 
John, still with his arms akimbo and wondering 
what was the matter with his feet. On uttering 
this profound remark, John blushed more violently 
than before, and asked himself mentally what the 
young lady with the clear blue eyes thought of 
his grammar. 

" It was very nice of you and Frank, John," said 
Kate, making an endeavor, not altogether unsuc- 
cesatful, to put the unhappy voungster at his ease. 



CLAUDE LIGMTFOOT. 41 

**My brother Claude is very thoughtless, and is 
constantly getting into quarrels. " 

"That's so, Kit," assented Claude with peni- 
tence in his voice. 

" He and I have agreed never to begin a quar- 
rel, " continued the girl — whereupon a broad grin 
came over Frank's face. The idea of Kate's 
identifying herself with Claude in his quarrels 
was too much for his sense of humor. Kate 
laughed in return. 

" It sounds funny to you, " continued Kate, " but 
I've got into the habit of talking about Claude's 
affairs as though they were mine. So Claude and 
I never start a quarrel, but sometimes we forget 
ourselves and put other boys out of patience, and 
then we find ourselves striking back, — don't we 
Claude?" 

"Yes, we do," answered Claude quite seriously. 

Frank laughed, and John, who had now put his 
hands out of sight in his pockets, broke into a 
smile. 

** And then Claude comes home with a swollen 
nose, or puffed-out lip^ — and generally with his 
clothes torn, even if he escapes fighting." 

"I'm pretty hard on clothes," said Claude. 
**I'll bet the Sign of the Blue Flag makes money 
on me." 

"If you're walking up town," said Kate to her 
»ew acquaintances, "we might all go together. 



42 CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 

and Claude will tell ycm how he was measured for 
the pair of knee-breeches he's wearing now." 

"I live on the East Side," Frank made answer, 
" but I'm on my way to John's to borrow his Latin 
themes. In our class John is the great authority 
in theme-work." 

Frank as he spoke glanced maliciously at John, 
who, o£ course, blushed again. 

" He's stuffing — oh, goodness, — he's exaggerat- 
ing, Claude," answered John, directing the first 
part o£ the sentence to the sister, and turning the 
conclusion full upon Claude. 

Kate could scarcely refrain from laughing. 

"Now," said Frank, as they took their way up 
the Avenue, " tell us about how you bought those 
pants, Claude." 

" You begin. Kit ; and we'll do it together." 

"Very well: when we settled that Claude was 
to go to college, mamma wanted to start him in 
with a new outfit. So yesterday Claude wei]^ 
down to the Blue Flag, with permission to do his 
own buying. When Claude entered the store, a 
clerk came up to him — they all know him there — 
and asked him what he wanted. *I want to s@e 
the boss,' said Claude. *He's busy,* said the 
clerk. *A11 right, I'll wait.' The clerk went 
away then, and after a while the senior partner 
came out. He's very fond of us, and when hs 
saw Claude he laughed." 



CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 43 

'* Yes/' put in Claude, "and he said, *You were 
here only two weeks ago. If all little boys wore 
out clothes like you, Td have been a millionaire 
long ago. * And then he asked me what I wanted. 
I told him that I wanted a pair of pants that would 
fit me, so's I could put my foot around my neck. 
You see the last pair I bought fitted for everything 
except that, and I can't enjoy myself if I can't 
put my foot about my neck. " 

"And then," continued Kate, "the proprietor 
called out to know whether there were any knee- 
breeches in the establishment with copper-plating 
md brass finishings." 

Kate paused to laugh, and you may be sure her 
merriment found a fine echo in Claude. 

"Of course he was joking,*' explained Claude, 
' and the clerk he laughed till he shook all over. 
5?hen the boss hustled around himself, and got 
r>a these. I put them on in the little green dress- 
ing room and came out feeling jolly." 

"And then, do you know what happened? The 
/^i^prietor made Claude put both his feet around 
his neck. " 

"Whose neck, and whose feet?" asked Frank 
fnis^hievously. 

"Claude's neck and Claude's feet," laughed 
Kate. 

" Did he put both feet around at the same time?'" 

" No : one at a time. Fra©k '* 



44 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

•* I'll bet I can put both around, all the same,* 
stated the object of this narrative in his matter-of- 
fact way. 

" And then when Claude said that the clothes 
were good for that sort of exercise, the man made 
him put his foot in his mouth, turn a handspring 
and bend the crab. Claude was delighted. The 
proprietor, who is a friend of papa's, told us all 
about it last night. He said, 'I've made a hit with 
one customer anyhow. Claude has made me 
promise to wait on him personally whenever he 
comes, because I know the right way to find out 
whether a small boy's knee-breeches fit him.' " 

"That's so," added Claude. "Lots of clerks 
seem to think that all a boy wants pants for is to 
stand around in." 

"Well, Kate," said Frank, "John and I turii 
here. We're very glad to have met you, and you 
may rel}^ upon it that if we can help Claude, we 
will do so." 

"Thank you very much. I'm so glad that 
Claude has found such kind friends among Catho- 
lic boys," said Kate warmly. " So far he has had 
few boy friends. Won't you come up some even* 
ing and take tea with us? Mamma will be de» 
lighted and Claude really needs some boy friends." 

Kate made this request very earnestly. During 
the foregoing conversation she had been studying 
the faces of the two poets. John, she perceived, 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 45 

with his smooth ruddy face, was bashful, timid, 
rather immature, and yet not without a fair sense 
of humor. Frank was ready, quick, honest, and 
energetic. Energetic: that was his predominant 
trait. His lips were thin, his mouth firm, and 
his pale features, relieved from a touch of austerity 
by the twinkling eye, gave him the air of a 
thorough student, as indeed he was. 

"Certainly, we shall be glad to call," answered 
Frank. 

" Well, good afternoon. " 

"Good evening, sir,*' added John, addressing 
himself to Kate. 

John almost broke into a run after this effort. 

" You remember the problem concerning Claude 
that I broached this morning?" asked Frank, put- 
ting his hand on the shoulder of his now fiery- 
faced companion. 

"I remember," said John, "that I put my foot 
into it every time I got a chance." 

"Oh, bother! Kate saw you were bashful, and 
appreciated your condition. She's a good girl, 
and if that brother of hers is to be saved at all, 
she's the one to do the saving. Yes, John, Kate 
solves the problem. " 

" I guess so," answered John moodily. 

As the sequel will show, Kate did not solve the 
problen^. 



4§ CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 



CHAPTER IV. 

m WHICH CLAUDE CULTIVA TES THE ACQUAINTANCE O^ 
MR. RUSSEL AND BECOMES A MEMBER OF THE ''HIGH* 

fliers:' 

ALTHOUGH Claude was an object of secret 
terror to Mr. Grace, he by no means pro- 
duced the same dread feeling in the bosom of Mr. 
Rnssel, the first prefect of the yard. Mr. Russel 
was a genial man; his face in ordinary moments 
was a smiling one, or, at lea^t, gave promise of a 
smile; and it was his great delight to chaff the 
little boys. He wore such an air of good nature, 
that youngsters not well acquainted with him 
sometimes ventured upon taking liberties. The 
experiment was seldom repeated by the same boy; 
for the face, so smiling before, looked down upon 
the youthful offender with a dignity and an air of 
command which made words on Mr. Russel's part 
unnecessary. 

Claude was a welcome addition to the prefect's 
list of little friends. He watched with interest 
this attempt at perpetual motion as he flew around 
the playground, and was not a little amused at 
the freshness and variety of Claude's antics. 

"There's a boy for you," he remarked to Elm.- 
wood. 



CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 47 

"I think it's several boys rolled into one," 
answered Frank. " He's made away with six 
different hats in the last four minutes." 

"Hallo, Specksy," shonted Claude, as he came 
rushing down the yard with Dan Dockery's hat. 

"Come here, Claude," said Mr. Rnssel, banish- 
ing with an effort a smile. 

Claude's pace tapered into a shamble; and he 
advanced with the presentiment that he was to be 
called to order. 

"It is great fun running off with boy's hats," 
©bserved the prefect. 

"Yes, sir: I enjoy it pretty well." 

"Of course, or you wouldn't do it. You like 
racing about like a mad colt. " 

"Yes, sir." 

"Give me that hat." 

"It's mine, sir," said Dan Dockery, coming up 
out of breath. 

"Take it, Dan. How do you like to have 
people running off with your hat?" 

As a matter of fact Dan had been meditating 
dire revenge upon Claude, but he was a kind- 
hearted boy, and, now that the prefect was taking 
a hand in the matter, feared that he might bring 
Claude into trouble. 

"Oh, I can stand it, sir, all right. Claude's a 
good fellow. " 

Claude gave Dan a grateful look. 



4« CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

"Yes: but you're willing to stand more than 
some boys," commented the prefect "See here, 
Claude," he added with an air of severity, "if you 
go racing away with any more hats I*m going 
to have it out with you. " 

"1*11 stop, sir." And Claude meant what he 
said. 

Mr. Russel's good-natured air returned at once. 

" Now suppose you jump against Dan Dockery, 
Claude; he's the best jumper under fourteen in 
the yard. Can you jump?" 

"I like it better than running, sir," answered 
Claude, brightening up under the easy sympathy 
of the prefect. 

" I thought so, " said Mr. Russel, surveying the 
sturdy little fellow. "And I'm afraid that Dan 
has met his match at last." 

" What'll you bet?" asked Dan with a grin. He 
was a slim lad with black hair, dark roguish eyes, 
a slightly freckled complexion, and an honest face. 

Mr. Russel laughed. "I've got an orange in 
my pocket; and I'll give it to the best man." 

"Will you go halves with me, Dan?" asked 
Charlie Pierson. 

" Wait till I win, Charlie. Is it to be a running 
jump, sir?" 

" What do you say, Claude?" 

" It's all the same to me, sir,'* answered Claude, 
who was now tempting Frank Elmwood to spar. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 4f 

^* Well, let it be a running jump. Dan, you go 
first. Here now is the line.'* And the prefect 
marked a line upon the ground. A number of 
boys were now interested spectators. 

Dan moved back some twelve yards, and coming 
forward at a swift gait, rose lightly into the air. 

"Good!" "First rate, Dan.'' "You never did 
better." Dan's effort pleased all. 

Claude marked the distance with his eye, and 
said : " I can beat that. " 

There was a general laugh from the crowd. 
But the sharper- witted perceived at once that the 
new-comer was not boasting : for he had spoken 
with an air of conviction. 

Claude walked back a few feet, took three 
strides, and leaped into the air. 

"Whew!" came the chorus: for without appar- 
ent effort this youngster had passed eight inches 
beyond the spot where Dan had alighted. 

"That beats the small boys' record here," said 
Elmwood. " I never saw anything like it." 

"Claude," said Mr. Russel solemnly, "take 
those springs out of your legs. " 

"I haven't got any springs in my legs," cried 
Claude seriously. 

" Well, you have a pair under your feet then. " 

"Have I? Now you see," and the winner 
stooped, and began untying his shoe-strings. The 
boys laughed, and Claude joined in when he per- 



5© CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

ceived on looking tip that Mr. Russel had be^ 
joking him. 

While these words were passing, several pr^ 
fessors had joined the spectators, and Claude was 
compelled to jump over and over, till It became 
patent to all that Dan Dockery was no longer the 
champion long-distance jumper of the small 
boys. 

Claude shared his orange with Dan, and both of 
them had a "good time" during class in consum- 
ing their respective portions, while Mr. Grace was 
explaining a sum at the blackboard. 

After dinner, Mr. Russel called Hairy Archer. 

" Harry, you're in need of a good player for the 
junior * Highfliers,' aren't you?" 

'* Yes, sir: we've only eight men since we threw 
Jim Shallow out for kicking too much and not 
minding what I told him." 

"Why don't you try Claude Lightfoot?" 

" Do you think he can play, sir?" 

"I don't know. But even if he can't play at 
allj I'm inclined to think that he'll pick up more 
in a month than most boys would in three years. 
He's a born athlete. He has a quick eye and a 
quick leg — and perfect command over every mus- 
cle in his body. — What do you say, Rob?" he 
asked, turning to Collins. 

" I think it would be worth while trying him. 
Here, I've got the T-^ague ball that belongs to 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 51 

the Poetry boys in my pocket now. Suppose we 
get him over here?*' 

Harry ran off and quickly returned with Claude. 

"Can you play base-ball, Claude?" asked the 
prefect. 

" I can bat, sir: but I haven't practised much." 

"Can't you throw?" inquired the captain of the 
Marquette Juniors. 

"Throw! of course I can. Just let me have 
that ball." 

Claude grasped the ball, and gazed about the 
yard. "Specksy! Specksy!" he shouted, as his 
eye fell upon Frank, who was conversing with 
John Winter near the home plate of the college 
diamond. 

Frank turned toward the group. 

"Here — catch this," and with an easy move- 
ment of the fore-arm Claude sent the ball almost 
on a line straight into Frank's hand. 

"Why, that's gorgeous!" cried Harry. "Here 
we are in left field, and that throw would have 
thrown out a fellow running from third base 
home. And did you notice, Mr. Russel, how he 
threw? It was all with his fore-arm. He just 
Beemed to give the ball a smart push. How do 
you do it, Claude?" 

Claude was now hopping about with his eyes 
fixed in the air, endeavoring to judge a high fly 
Vhich Frank had thrown for his benefit. He 



52 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

judged it so accurately that the ball came squarely 
into his hands, but rolled out before his fingers 
could close upon it. 

"You see, Fm not much at catching. But I've 
never practised. I don't know how I throw, but 
it comes easy." 

" Can you curve?" continued the captain. 

** I don't know ; I never tried. How is it done?" 

"Get Elmwood to teach him," suggested Mr. 
Russel, " and you've secured a great pitcher. 
Look at his fingers — they are strong, and he can 
twist them around any ball. If he can put on a 
little curve and combine it with his speed, you'll 
have the best Jimior nine that ever represented 
our college." 

And then and there Claude became a member 
of the club. 

But matters did not go so well with him in the 
Class room. He was frequently out of order, and, 
I am bound to say, sometimes inexcusably so. 
While some of his antics were quite involuntary, 
others were a deliberate yielding to temptation. 
He really gave Mr. Grace a deal of annoyance. 
How boys could wriggle so, Mr. Grace could not 
understand. At the end of the school-day Claude 
was scolded, and he certainly deserved it. 

But the scolding, earnestly and conscientiously 
given as it was, failed to impress him as it should 
^ave impressed him. 



CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. %l 

He was not able to analyze his feelings: but he 
felt obscurely that Mr. Grace was not in sympathy 
with him. He respected his professor; he loved 
Mr. Russel. 

" What a troublesome boy ! I wonder how his 
parents bear with him at home/* was the inward 
comment of Mr. Grace, as Claude with flying 
heels rushed from the yard intent upon making 
the convent-school in time to catch Kate. 

" That's a splendid little fellow, '' soliloquized Mr, 
Russel. " He*s healthy and happy and bright ; and 
I hope a few years may make him wise/* 

CHAPTER V. 

IN WHICH THE READER OBTAINS A GLIMPSE OF CLAUDE 
AND KA TE A T HOME. 

MR. GRACE was under the impression, there- 
fore, that Claude created trouble at home 
as he did in the class-room. Mr. Grace was mis- 
taken. Indeed, it is sometimes very difficult to 
judge of a boy's home life by his conduct at 
school. The quiet, " nice" boy at school, in whose 
mouth butter is not supposed to melt, makes up, 
it may be, for his good conduct on more familiar 
ground. He gives his younger brothers and sis^ 
ters no rest, and causes the servants of the house 
untold miseries. His parents wonder when they 
receive his school report, and learn that he is a 
model boy. They try to believe it. too. 



54 CLAUDE LTGHTFOOT. 

The harum-scarum of the class-room goes home 
and, once he has crossed the threshold, becomes a 
lamb. He runs errands for his mother, plays 
with little sister, and, when evening comes, buries 
himself in a tale of adventure. There is such a 
thing as the law of compensation. 

Claude's home life was almost ideal. Let us 
follow him for one afternoon and evening. 

On entering the house, his first care was to 
salute his mother, a delicate lady whose faded 
face gave more than a hint of the beauty that had 
once been hers. She had been an invalid for 
some years; and, not without a fond mother's 
regret, had intrusted Claude to Kate's care. 
Thus Kate at the age of fourteen had become 
Claude's little mother. 

Mrs. Lightfoot's pale cheek flushed as Claude 
came tripping in, and, without giving her time to 
rise from the sofa, kissed her heartily three dis- 
tinct times. Then putting his arm around her 
neck, Claude ran through his second day's adven- 
ture at school. No wonder he was animated in 
his narrative: the fond eyes that looked into his 
would have inspired the most sluggish of tongues. 
Before he had completed his account, Kate, hav- 
ing changed her school dress for what she called 
her "playing-gown," entered bright and rosy, 
and, taking her place on the other side of mamma, 
and with her arm about mamma's neck, the three 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 55 

chatted on tinrestrainedly for some mintites. 
There was much love ; there were no secrets. 

"Well, Claude/' said Kate after a glance at her 
watch, "we mustn't stay too long with mamma, 
or the doctor will keep us out entirely. Come on 
now for our game of lawn-tennis." 

Taking an affectionate farewell, brother and 
sister hurried away, Kate to secure the rackets, 
and Claude, whose appetite was perennial, to coax 
the cook into giving him \ few cakes, 

Kate in her white playing-gown moved about 
with an ease and freedom surprising in a girl, 
and played a game which few boys of her age 
could surpass. But Claude was a master. He 
skipped about with a never-failing command of 
his motions, and handled his racket equally well 
with right or left hand. In each game he gave 
Kate thirty to begin on, and even thus handi- 
capped, won the set after a long contest. It was 
a pretty sight, these two bright-eyed, rose-flushed 
children, as they moved about with never-failing 
agility and grace, while their laughter, unre- 
strained yet not harsh, rippled into music on the 
soft evening breeze. 

Claude and Kate, when there were other players 
at hand, always played as partners ; and they had 
yet to taste defeat. 

After the match, the brother retired to the bath- 
room to enjoy his daily splash. This child of 



56 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

light and air had learned very early in life to love 
the cooling waters, and, not without some natural 
repugnance, had become reconciled to the lavish 
use of soap. 

Claude's reappearance from the bath-room was 
the signal for supper. Mr. Lightfoot, who had 
arrived from his law office toward the close of the 
lawn-tennis set, presided. He was a hearty gen- 
tleman on this side of the prime of life, kind and 
considerate toward his children, and tender to his 
invalid wife. 

He had one hobby, and that was an offshoot of 
his patriotism. On arriving in the ** States," he 
had been taken with the American people, and 
with American institutions. This was very nat- 
ural, and as it should be. But Mr. Lightfoot 
made his Americanism a convenient peg to hang 
his prejudices upon. Whatever suited his whims 
he styled American; whatever ran counter to 
them was un-American. The Stars and Stripes 
entered largely into his conversation ; and some 
of his Milwaukee friends tell a story of his refus- 
ing to allow in his house a picture of Columbus 
taking possession of the newly found country be- 
cause the standard represented in the scene was 
not the American flag. The story, of course, was 
made up : but it shows how Mr. Lightfoot was re- 
garded by his American friends. 

Mr. Lightfoot had taken it into his head that 



CLAUDE UGHTFOOT. 57 

tibe public schools were an American " institution. " 
In the matter of parochial and Catholic schools^ 
he was rather difficult, and it was only after long 
overtures, and much diplomacy, and constant tact 
that Mrs. Lightfoot had succeeded in persuading 
him to allow Claude to go to Milwaukee College. 
There had been no trouble, however, concerning 
Kate's going to the convent-school. With all his 
prejudices, Mr. Lightfoot could not bring himself 
to send Kate to an "institution'* where the co- 
educational system obtained. 

During supper Mr. Lightfoot questioned Claude 
closely. 

"Was there an American flag in your class- 
room, Claude?" 

" I didn't notice, sir." 

" Didn't you see any American flags at school?" 

«No, papa." 

** And did you hear any of the professors talking 
about our government?" 

" No sir: they asked me how I could jump; and 
they made me jump for them till I was tired. 
And one of *em gave me an orange; he's a nice 
man." 

Mr. Lightfoot went on with his questions, but 
failed to discover that the facult}^ was an enemy 
of our government; or that the teachers were op- 
posed to republican institutions. But he was not 
satisfied. 



58 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

It was twilight when they arose from supper, 
and Claude, followed by Kate, went to his room to 
prepare his lessons for the following day. 

The method of these two was certainly unique. 
Kate opened the Latin grammar, and Claude his 
pocket-knife, with which he at once began to 
whittle. 

"Now," said Kate, "let's hear you repeat the 
first and second declensions which we learned 
yesterday.*' 

Whittling energetically, Claude, not stopping 
to pause or think, gave cases, endings, and genders, 
without a single omission. 

" Very good, Claude. Now listen : — in the third 
declension the genitive ends in 'is; ' the nomina- 
tive has all sorts of endings — example : leo^ leonis^ 
leom^ leonem^ leo, ieone,'* 

Kate paused. Apparently absorbed in his 
manual task, Claude repeated her words exactly 
as she had spoken them. 

" Now for the plural — leones^ leonum^ leonibus^ leoneSy 
leones, leonibus,'' 

There was a twinkle in Claude's eye, as he be- 
gan : — " Leontbus, hones ^ leones^ leenibus^ leonum^ Jeones. " 

"Oh, Claude, where's your memory! That 
was all wrong. " 

" No, it wasn't," retorted Claude. 

" Yes, it was. You began with leonibus and the 
nominative is leones. " 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 59 

"Kit, I've caught you," cried Claude, jumping 
to his feet, and hopping about, while brandish- 
ing his knife and the bit of wood, " I said it back- 
ward. " 

Kate laughed and owned herself outwitted. 
Within five minutes, the playful youth had mas- 
tered the third and fourth declensions, saying 
them backward or forward with equal readiness. 
From his first school days, he had done nearly all 
his studying by listening : his memory, naturally 
good, had become so sharpened by this exercise 
that he could repeat after one hearing any para- 
graph that Kate pronounced. The little romp 
was too impatient, too restless, too full of animal 
life, to put himself down to hard study ; and his 
sister's help, while cultivating his memory, did 
not succeed in adequately developing his under- 
standing. Here was another of Claude's flaws. 
He trusted to the nimbleness of his wits rather 
than to their labor; and Kate found it impos- 
sible to make her brother settle down to severe 
duty. 

They next took up United States History, and 
Kate after reading a paragraph gravely listened 
to Claude as one listens to a perfect echo. Before 
this lesson was quite disposed of, Claude betrayed 
signs of flagging attention. His eyes grew heavy, 
and he put his hands before his mouth several 
times to suppress a yawn. Like the birds of day, 



6© CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Claude grew quiet and sedate with the darkness. 
All his animation went to rest with the dying of 
the twilight. 

"Let's say prayers, Kit/* he said when he had 
stumbled through the last few lines of the history 
lesson. " I can get up my examples in the morn- 
ing." 

Kneeling together upon the carpet, the two 
recited the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the 
acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity. The restless 
boy appeared now in quite another character; 
with his hands folded, and his eyes fixed on the 
crucifix above his bed, his whole attitude showed 
faith and devotion; while his sister looked like 
one of those sweet virgins whose lives are the 
glory of the Church. 

Together had these two recited their prayers, 
since the little lips were able to lisp in unison. 

"God bless papa and mamma,*' they went on, 
" and make me a good " 

"Boy," said Claude. 

"Girl," said Kate. 

" Lord have mercy on brother Willie and all the 
suffering souls in purgatory. " 

"Lord make me a good boy," continued Claude 
alone, " and prepare my heart to make a good First 
Communion." 

Then after adding a prayer to their Mother 
Mary for perfect purity of soul and body, and 



CLAUDE LIGNTFOOT. 6l 

making the sign of the cross, both arose ; where- 
upon Kate dipped out leaving Claude alone. 

Fifteen minutes later, laying aside her own text- 
book, she crept softly in. It was her habit to 
return every night, and if Claude were sleeping, 
as was generally the case, she kissed his upturned 
cheek and returned to her books. If he were 
awake, she would seat herself beside him, and 
receive such confidences as Claude had not the 
courage to tell her of in the glare of day. Then 
patting the little cheek or stroking the soft sunny 
hair, she would soothe her brother into slumber. 

And later in the night, the invalid mother would 
enter — Claude knew nothing of this — and falling 
upon her knees she would pray long and devoutly 
for her little darling, and gazing into his face 
would think of that other little one who had been 
taken from her in the first flush of radiant child- 
hood. Who dares say that a Christian mother's 
grief for the loss of a little child is an unalloyed 
bitterness? It lifts the mother's heart to another 
and brighter world, and amid the heat and dust 
and grime of this life she carries about with her 
a remembrance which links her sympathies and 
her longings with the beautiful land beyond, 
where the angel face of the departed shines down 
on her in unchangeable purity, radiant joy, and 
undying love;. 



62 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 



CHAPTER VI. 

WHICH CLAUDE LOSES HIS TEMPER, AND PUTS HIM< 
SELF DECIDEDLY IN THE WRONG. 

THE first, second, and third weeks of his new 
life passed quite happily for little Claude. 
In the yard he flitted abont gay as a sunbeam, 
and in the class-room, while giving full satisfac- 
tion in his recitations, he contrived, ably assisted 
by Mr. Grace, to suppress himself, if I maj'' use the 
expression, to the required standard of discipline, 
with now and then a startling failure. 

It was hard for him to refrain from pinching 
any fat boy who came within his reach; it was 
impossible for him to sit quiet when any one 
answered wrong ; and in his ^eal to have the ques- 
tion answered rapidly he would jump to his feet, 
dance half-way up the room, while exclaiming in 
a blaze of excitement, "Ask me, Mr. Grace." Ha 
generally resumed his seat in a wilted condition. 
Despite his heroic efforts to keep within bounds, 
lie sorely dissatisfied his professor; who, however, 
having discovered early that Claude and himself 
could not understand each other, had refrained 
from speaking out his mind. So Claude flattered 
himself that he was doing excellently. Such too 
iiras the opinion of Father Maynard, who had 



CLAtr£)M LIGHTFOOT. (>% 

charge of the First Communion class. He was 
deeply impressed with the fair, flushed, bright- 
eyed face, so full of interest, so clearly expressing 
the desire of its owner to know and have at 
command everything that bore upon the Gate- 
chism. For, owing in great part to Kate's sweet 
influence, Claude had thrown his whole soul into 
the work of preparation ; and during the hour de- 
voted to Christian doctrine he was a model in 
conduct, on the one hand, and, on the other, could 
repeat word for word not only the answers but 
even the questions as they stood in the book. 

Many and many a time did Kate and Claude 
discuss the coming of the great day. It was the 
topic of their sweetest moments. The last week 
of preparation had come ; and as Claude on Mon- 
day morning tripped lightly to school, he little 
knew the troubles and amnoyances that were to 
try his very soul. 

Besides the prospect of the coming day, Claude 
had other cheering anticipations. To begin with, 
under the skilful and eager training of Frank 
Elmwood, he had easily succeeded in getting the 
" in" and " out" curve. Steady practice at noon- 
time for half an hour each day had given him so 
remarkable a command of the ball that he could 
put it over the base, and high or low, almost at 
will. The captain of the Highfliers was delighted 
with his progress, and ^ave it out as his opinion 



64 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

that Claude, who had never yet pitched iu a 
match-game, was certainly the best small-boy 
pitcher, so far as he knew, in the city of Milwau- 
kee : and to show that he was willing to stand by 
this opinion, he had challenged the " Rockaway" 
club of the East Side to a game on the coming 
Wednesday, with Claude "in the box." You may 
be sure that Claude looked forward to that after- 
noon with eagerness. He was by no means a 
timid boy, and was willing to stand up before the 
stoutest set of youngsters that ever shouldered the 
"willow." 

In the next place, Claude was on this very day 
to buy for himself the finest boy's base-ball bat 
that he had ever laid eyes on. It was a ** Wagon 
Tongue" symmetrically fashioned, which had been 
resting for some time in a bundle of bats on sale 
at a certain notion store near the college. Claude 
had in passing noticed it, paused, and with per- 
mission of the shop-keeper taken it out of the 
bundle and examined it. Now in the line of 
athletics, Claude possessed excellent judgment; 
and as he swung the bat at an imaginary ball, he 
was convinced that this particular bat was made 
for him. 

" How much is it, Mister?" 

"Seventy-five cents." 

"Whew!" said Claude, taking a nickel out of 
kis pocket and looking at it ruefully "Won't 



CLAUDE LiGHTFOOT. «5 

you trust me, Mister? FU give you fivb cents 
down, and pay you the rest when I grow up. " 

Claude seldom left the house without ten or 
twenty cents in his pocket; and he never returned 
with anything. His mother, while grudging him 
nothing, did not consider it prudent for her child 
to carry a large sum. 

•'Cash sales here, Johnny," said the proprietor 
Portly. 

** Well, Mister, won't you keep it for me?" 
**ril keep it till I get a buyer/' answered the 
amiable merchant. 

Claude told his sister of the occurrence that 
very afternoon, and on this Monday morning, 
Kate, who had been saving up for a week, handed 
her pet the required seventy-five cents. Then 
Kate, who had been on the point of starting off 
for school, was obliged to go back and readjust 
her toilet, and Claude's demonstrations of gratitudti 
Were within a little of brirtging* her late for class- 
So Claude on this particular Monday morning 
was blithe as a bird in the first joyousness of 
spring. He carried his blithesomeness into class, 
and before noontime received notice to copy 
twenty-five lines of his history, and not to play 
after lunch-time till the lines were finished. Poor 
Claude! his bat, the only, the newly bought, was 
awaiting him; the boys were to play *' rounds" 
immediately after lunch, and he had counted upon 



66 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

testing it in that one game. He had thought ta 
hurry through his lunch, to be first in the yard ; 
and as soon as any small boy should appear, to 
shout, "Rounds! innings!" the other small boy 
would shout in return, "Another,'' and as being 
first to bat, Claude would have an excellent chance 
of proving all the good qualities of his new acquisi- 
tion. But now, what was he to do? Oh, yes: he 
could forego his lunch, and write the lines during 
that time. 

And this Claude did. He worked with unwonted 
celerity, finished his lines in a few minutes and 
flashed into the yard. Hurrah! not a boy had 
appeared. He looked about for Mr. Grace that 
he might give in his lines ; but Mr. Grace was not 
to be seen. 

" Rounds ! innings !" he shouted as Dan Dockery 
emerged from the lunch-room. 

"Another," screamed Dan. 

"Catch," called Pierson. 

" Keep my place for me, Dan, while I go into 
tibie reading-room and get my bat," panted Claude. 

"All right," answered Dan. 

Claude returned presently breathless with ex- 
oitement, and aglow with pleasurable anticipation. 
By this time several boys were coming out, and 
pitch, first base, second base, third base, short- 
stop, and left field were quickly claimed. 

The time had at length come, and i^ ^n ecstasy 



CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 67 

ef motion Claude, bat in hand, dashed down the 
yard to take his position as batsman at the home 
plate. 

" Claude," came a clear, distinct, baritone voice. 

"Claude, Claude," shouted a number of boys, 
**Mr. Grace wants you.*' 

"All right: wait for me, feHows: I've just got 
to hand him some lines." 

And Claude, anxious not to lose his place in the 
game, came running toward Mr. Grace, who was 
standing outside the storm-door, and, as he ran, 
fumbled in his breeches pocket for the copy he 
had made. 

He found it as he gained Mr. Grace's side, and 
forgetting, in the excitement of the moment, to 
remove his cap, handed the paper to his teacher. 

" There it is, Mr. Grace, every word. I wanted 
to give it to you as soon as I finished it, but you 
weren't iv, the yard." 

Then Claude turned; and took three rapid 
springs. 

" Claude ! come back. " 

Poor Claude winced and obeyed. He glanced 
wistfully at the bat in his hand — a glance that 
would have moved the heart of any one who knew 
what a real American boy feei§ on the subject of 
base-ball. 

"Th^ ftsllows are going to begin to play," said 
Claude, " and it's my turn at the bat " 



18 CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT, 

" Business before pleasure, Claude." 

Ah me ! some of these axioms can be so cruel. 

"When did you write this?" continuea Mr. 
Grace, very slowly, very deliberately, who never 
having played ball in his life, and having nothing 
of the dramatic faculty, as I have already stated, 
was not at all moved by Claude's signs of haste. 

"During lunch," said Claude, noticing with a 
sinking at the heart that Dan Dockery was at the 
bat. 

" That was not the right time, Claude. I didn't 
want to deprive you of your lunch. Little boys 
should eat regularly. " 

" May I go, sir?" entreated Claude, almost sob- 
bing, as he perceived that the players were dis- 
cussing the question of putting another batsman 
in his place. 

" No, go down to the lunch-room and eat your 
lunch." The clear, serene, slow accents in which 
Mr. Grace spoke were maddening in their utter 
^ck of sympathy. 

"I won't," burst forth Claude on the spur of 
the moment, his eyes flashing with anger. And 
then he could have bitten his tongue off. Oh, the 
pity of it! here within a few days of his First 
Communion he had been impudent and defiant to 
a religious. 

Oh, the pity of it, gentle reader, that with so 
muck o^oodness and purity of intention we poor 



CLAUDE LI6HTF00T. ^ 

mortals go on maddening and worrying one 
another, and crossing each other's lives in lines 
that lead to snch ngly collisions. Mr. Grace had, 
unwittingly indeed, been really cruel to the child; 
he had tortured the lad into impudence. And yet 
Mr. Grace to this day, I dare assert, does not know 
that he had acted cruelly. He intended to be 
kind ; he pitied the little fellow going about with- 
out his lunch, and in his kindness of sngg^tion 
had met with a flat " I won't. '* 

Claude would have apologized in the same 
breath, but overcome by horror, shame, and vexa- 
tion, his voice broke, so that he could not trust it, 
and it was all he could do to keep back the tears. 

"Claude! I am astonished at you. Go over 
there by the turning-pole, and stay there till the 
first bell rings.*' And deeply hurt, Mr. Grace 
walked away. 

Poor Claude! It was an aflfair of a base-ball 
bat; but it was one of the great sorrows of his 
childhood. 

He obeyed this time — but apologize? No: 
never. He had said "I won't," and now he 
wasn't sorry. Mr. Grace was mean — yes, mean. 

Now Mr. Grace was not mean. He was good 
and kind according to his lights: but they were 
half-lights. Yet we can pardon Claude for his 
i:*Qisjudgment. 

Presently Mr. Grace bethought him of the?, fact 



JO CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

that Claude still needed his lunch: and in all 
kindness of heart he walked over toward the cul- 
prit to release him and send him to the lunch- 
room. But he approached Claude just as the 
waves of passion were surging highest in his 
bosom, and Claude with a glare of dislike and de- 
fiance fixed full on Mr. Grace's face, deliberately 
turned his back on the prefect. 

"What a rude boy!" he commented interiorly. 
''* I see it will not be prudent for me to go near him 
now; for if I do, he'll surely give me more impu- 
dence. " 

Frank Elm wood came by. 

"What's the matter, Claude?" 

But Claude, his bosom still heaving, rubbed his 
hand over his eyes, and made no answer. 

The evening hours of class passed gloomily for 
our poor little friend : and Kate was driven to do 
all the talking on the way home. 

After Claude had gone to bed, Kate entered to 
give him the good-night kiss. He was awake. 

"Sit down. Kit, by my side; I've an awful 
story to tell you. " 

And Claude told her all. 

Kate said very little, but in those tender femi- 
nine ways, which good and tactful women employ 
so well, she soothed the wounded heart, and ban-* 
ished from Claude every touch of unkind feel* 
ing. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. ^X 

"Now, my dear, you'll apologize to Mr. Grace 
in the morning." 

"Yes, Kit: I've been bad. But it was hard." 

" So it was, dear: but we'll begin all over, shall 
we not?" 

"Yes, Kit." 

Yes: Claude had been bad; his rudeness to Mr. 
Grace was very wrong. But who o£ us would 
hesitate to a^ cept his chance for heaven had he 
died that night? The poor boy fell asleep with 
an act of contrition on his lips, and great resolves 
in his heart. 

CHAPTER VII. 

IN WHICH CLA UDE A STONISHES HIS EXAMINERS IN CA TE^ 
CHISM AND HARRY ARCHER IN MATTERS OF BASE^ 
BALL. 

ON Monday Claude had passed through the 
storm; on Tuesday he basked in the sun- 
shine. The class of First Communion, having 
completed the Catechism, was to be examined on 
this day by a board consisting of the president, 
vice-president, and a professor of the faculty. It 
was to be a contest as well as an examination ; for 
upon its result was to depend the awarding of two 
prizes, the first being a handsome pocket edition 
of the New Testament, and the second a morocco- 
bound Thomas a Kempis. 

Owing mainly to Claude, the examination went 



^2 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

©n briskly. As Dan Dockery put it, Claude was 
first, and the others were nowhere. 

At the end of the set examination, the president 
began to quiz the class. 

" Here's a question," he said, " that isn't in youi 
Catechism exactly as I put it; but it's quite easy. 
Who has the right of giving the Holy Eucharist?" 

" A priest," cried several. 

" Could a religious not in Holy Orders give it?** 

"No, sir." 

" Could a living saint, supposing he were not a 
priest, touch the Consecrated Host?" 

"No, sir." 

" Why is the Church so strict in this matter?" 

There was a silence : the boys looked at each 
other at first, then, as if by common consent, fixed 
their eyes on Claude. 

"I think, Father," said Claude, "that it's be- 
cause of the great reverence which we should 
show to our Lord. " 

"And you are quite right, Claude: the Church 
hedges the Holy Eucharist about with all manner 
of restrictions for fear lest men through familiarity 
should lose their reverence. However, can any 
of you think of an instance where even a layman 
might give Holy Communion?" 

The faces of all the boys, save Claude's, became 
blank; Claude's brow furrowed with lines. 

"What do you say, Claude?" 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 73 

Tm thinking, Father." 

" Suppose a man were dying, and no prie^ could 
fee got, and suppose that the Blessed Eucharist 
were at hand : might a layman give it to the dying 
man?" 

" I think he might, sir, in that case " 

"Why, Claude?" 

" Because there's no other chance of the dying 
man's getting Communion; and besides, as Father 
Maynard says, the Sacraments are all for the good 
of the people." 

" You are right, Claude . but the case is so ex- 
treme that practically it comes to nothing. When- 
ever there's any question about the Holy Eucharist, 
it can be answered, if we keep in mind that we 
owe it the greatest love on the one hand, and on 
the other the deepest reverence. " 

^^That brings another question to my mind,' 
broke in the vice-president. " You all know how 
extremely strict the Church is in insisting on a 
total fast from midnight for those who are to 
communicate. The reason for this exceeding 
strictness is the high reverence we owe our Divina 
Lord. Now, is it ever allowed for a person tQ 
receive Holy Communion who has broken tha 
fast?" 

" Yes, sir, " answered Dan Dockery ; " any one 
who is dying may receive the Holy Eucharist 
whether he's fasting or not." 



74 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

"Correct: bnt who can give me another case 
where the law of fasting ceases to bind?" 

" Oh, I know, sir," cried Clande, springing to his 
feet, and then dropping back in confusion at his 
forwardness. " A person not fasting could receive 
Holy Communion, even if there weren't a priest 
at hand to give it, in order to save it from being 
insulted by bad men, or by wicked soldiers in 
time of war. " 

"Where did you learn that?'* asked the aston- 
ished vice-president, while his fellow-examiners 
exchanged glances of surprise. 

" My sister read it to me out of a book, sir." 

"You have answered well; out of reverence, 
we fast before going to Communion ; out of rever- 
ence, only those in Holy Orders may touch the 
sacred Host — but again, out of love for the honor 
of our Lord, fasting and all other rules may, should 
an extreme occasion arise, be done away with." 

Then the quizzing went on. I have here set 
down but two of the questions with their answers, 
first to show how quick and thorough Claude was, 
secondly because, as the reader shall find out 
later, they will throw much light on Claude's 
subsequent history. 

"Father Maynard," said the president immedi- 
ately after the examination, " I congratulate you 
on the thorough preparation you have given all 
your boys; but as for that little cricket, I never 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 75 

«aw anything like it. Indeed, I couldn't imagine 
a boy of his years better prepared. " 

" I can hardly claim any credit for that : some 
of Claude's knowledge seems to be infused." 

He did not know that Kate " infused" it. 

At noon-time Claude was in his element, as he 
stepped up to the home plate with his bat. 

" Throw the ball all your might, " he piped to 
the pitcher. 

It came straight and swift; there was a sharp 
cracky and Claude ran for first base while the ball 
shot into the air, and struck the college building 
far over the left-fielder's head. When his turn 
came again, he sent the ball straight over second 
base. Next he drove a long fly into right-field — 
and then Claude was happy : the bat had come up 
to his expectations ; for not only could he hit hard 
with it, but he could place the ball in any field he 
chose. 

Few small boys think of attempting scientific 
batting. They strike as hard as they can, and are 
glad if they succeed in hitting the ball at all. 
But Claude with his singularly steady eye and 
wondrous flexibility of muscle, was never haunted 
with the fear of striking out. There was no ques- 
tion as to his hitting or not hitting the ball ; there- 
fore he could pay attention to the placing of his 
hits. He gave promise of becoming a marvellous 
batter. 



7* CLAUDE LIGMTFOOT, 

"Where are you going; after school, Claud*?** 
asked Harry Archer. 

" To the East Side to take my sister home from 
school.*' 

" I wanted to have a talk with you about to- 
morrow's game.*' 

"Well, why not walk along with me?" 

Harry scratched his head. 

" I could go with you as far as the State Street 
bridge. '* 

" All right. I shall wait for you here after 
class.'* 

" Now," began Harry, running his arm through 
Claude's that afternoon as the boys with books 
and satchels came trooping into the yard, " I want 
to tell you about the Rockaway club. They're 
the crack small boys' nine of the East Side, and 
they haven't lost a game this season." 

" Didn't they ever play our nine?" 

"Yes: last year, and they won three straight 
from us. Two of the games were pretty close, 
but in the last game they beat us 12 to 3." 

"Were our fellows afraid of them?" 

"No: but the Rockaways had strengthened 
their nine, ours was the same. — Now, of course, 
they don't want to break their record by letting 
us beat them this year; and some of our college 
fellows from the East Side have been blowing 
about your pitchin^r, so that they've become terri^ 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 77 

fely worked up. And now they are trying to steal 
a march on us. " 

"How's that?" 

" They've been scouring the city for undersized 
yood players. You know the agreement between 
Bs is that all players on either side must be under 
fifteen. Well, they've got hold of three sawed- 
0ffs, stumpy little chaps, and one of them is six- 
teen, and the other two fifteen. All three are 
splendid players, and they're going to be put in 
the infield." 

" How did you hear about it, Harry?" 

"Oh, I keep my eyes open: and besides I get 
Frank Elmwood to look out for me. And now 
I'm thinking of getting in two undersized fel- 
lows from the South Side to strengthen our nine, 
too." 

"Two wrongs don't make a right," said Claude 
with a laugh. 

Archer thought for a moment. 
"That's so: let's show our pluck anyhow. 
Even as it is we can beat 'em if we use our heads. 
But some of them are awful batters : I've been fol- 
lowing them up every game they played this 
spring, and I tell you there are three or four of 
them, if they get the ball where they want it, will 
©end it to glory every time." 

" If I only knew the kind of balls they wanted," 
sighed Claude, 



fB CLAUDE LIGMt^FOOT. 

"Oh, I can fix that," said Harry eagerly. * 1 
know the weak and strong batting points of every 
fellow on the regular nine ; and I've got Elmwood 
to find out about the three outsiders. To-night, 
I'll write down their names, and put after each 
the kind of ball they can hit and the kind they 
can*t. It'll be hard work for me. But it'll be 
just as hard for you to learn it by heart." 

Claude smiled. 

" I can save you all that trouble, Harry. Just 
fliame your boys, and tell me all you know about 
them." 

" You can't remember it all. You'll g6t names 
and everything else mixed up." 

" Try me," said Claude. 

Then Harry started out, and talked, talked, 
talked, in one continuous flow of base-ball slang, 
not even pausing when the bridge was reached. 
He seemed to have forgotten his intention, for on 
he went across the river giving the results of 
his close and long-continued observations. It was 
only when they had gone six squares further eas 
that he came to a pause. 

"Gracious," he added after catching his breati^j, 
" that was the longest speech I ever made. But 
of course you can't remember it." 

"Listen," said Claude. 

And he did listen with distended eyes and open 
mouth, for Claude repeated what he had heard 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 7^. 

almost word for word, and without omitting a 
single material point. 

" My goodness!" gasped Harry. " How do you 
do it?" 

** Ask my sister. " 

" Bnt how long can you remember it?" 

" For two or three days, even if I were not to 
think of it again. But Til go over it to-night 
once more, Harry, and you'll see to-morrow that 
I haven't forgotten." 

Suddenly Harry turned and fled: the girls were 
just coming out of the convent. 



CHAPTER Vni. 

JN WHICH CLAUDE PITCHES AGAINST THE ROCKA WAYS, 
AND MEETS WITH ANOTHER TRIAL. 

" T^LAY ball," called the umpire, and Snider- 
X John, a stunted youth, one of the three out- 
siders, took his place at the bat. 

Frank Elmwood had told Claude to give him a 
high ball. But alas! Claude's fingers slipped in 
the act of delivery-^it was the first time he had 
ever pitched in a real contest — and he sent the 
ball straight over the plate, and not quite waist- 
high. O'Neil in centre-field had a hard run to 
catch up with the long line-ball that Sniderjohn 
knocked, and when he had returned it to the in- 
field the heavy batsman was standin^f on third base. 



«o CLAUDS LIGHTFOo-r. 

The Highfliers were startled and tineasy. 
Claude, perhaps, was to turn out an "exploded 
phenomenon." 

As Gardner waited at the plate (he was the 
second of the outsiders) a great stillness came over 
all, and Claude felt that he was in danger of be- 
coming nervous. 

The college boys, some eighty or ninety in at- 
tendance, had nothing to say. 

" Knock a home run, Gardner," broke in Snider* 
John. " That pitcher is a pie. " 

" Am I?" cried Claude angrily. 

Then he turned and faced the batter, with all 
his nervousness gone, the coolest, most fearless 
boy on the field. 

"This is the fellow who doesn't want an in- 
curve," he whispered to himself. 

"One strike," called the umpire, as the ball 
whirled in and over the plate. 

'*Two strikes," he said as the next ball was 
batted at vainly by Gardner. 

Then waist-high, straight over the base and 
swift, came the third ball, and before the batter 
had made up his mind to strike, the ball was in 
the hands of Archer, Claude's catcher. 

The friends of the Rockaways applauded whea 
Williams advanced to the plate. He was the third 
outsider and, according to Elmwood^ was thd 
best batter on the team. 



CLAUDE 1 IGHTFOOT. 8l 

Archer pulled up one of his stockings: that 
infant, " Give this man his base on balls." 

"Four balls, take your base," said the umpire 
presently. 

O* Brian, the next batter, knocked a slow- 
grounder to the short-stop. It was what is called 
a "good sacrifice hit;" for Sniderjohn was nearly 
home before the short-stop, who had been playing 
deep, could put his hands on it. Allowing Sni- 
derjohn to score, he threw O'Brien out at first. 
Jones struck out, and the Highfliers came in with 
nheerful faces. Claude had, after all, come up to 
their expectations. 

Dan Dockery was their first batsman. He was 
not a powerful hitter, but he had a knack of get- 
ting his base by hook or by crook, in the innocent 
sense of this phrase ; and once on base the chances 
were in favor of his getting around, for he was 
both quick and sure-footed. 

The second ball pitched came straight at Dan's 
ribs. Covering his side with his arm, he stepped 
back with measured deliberation just as the 
ball was upon him. It struck him full on the 
arm. 

"Take your base," said the umpire. 

"You did that a-purpose," shouted pitcher 
Snyder indignantly. 

"Did what?" laughed Dan, as he trotted down 
to first. " I thought you did it. " 



$2 CLAUDE UGHTFOOT. 

Archer, who had now stepped tip to the plate, 
suppressed a grin: he knew Dan's tricks. 

The captain of the Juniors made a mistake in 
judgment ; for he struck at a " drop" ball which 
€ame below his knee. It rolled toward first. But 
Dan was safe on second before the first baseman 
could touch his bag. 

When Claude faced the pitcher, he received a 
rousing greeting from the college boys. His 
cheeks flushed with pleasure. 

Claude wanted a high ball, and the second one 
pitched was just an inch or two above his shoulder. 
His bat met it full and square ; the ball went on 
a line over the third baseman's head, bounded 
high over the left-fielder, and before it was re- 
turned to the diamond Dockery had scored, and 
Claude stood on third base. 

" I say, Sniderjohn," called out Frank Elmwood, 
"how's your pie?*' 

Pierson knocked a fly to short right-field. Dar- 
by, the fielder of that position, caught it after a 
lively run. Then Claude, who had kept one foot 
on third base till the ball touched Darby's hands, 
dashed for home. Darby threw the ball in, but 
Claude, the fleet of foot, had beaten it. Walter 
Collins, Rob's younger brother, went out on a foul 
fly to the first baseman, and the second inning 
began with the score 2 to i in favor of the High- 
fliers. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 83 

Darby struck out, and Healy followed his ex- 
ample. Phillips drove a swift grounder to Pier- 
son, who fumbled it, then threw wide of the first 
baseman, and thus allowed Phillips to reach third. 
Snyder knocked a fly to Walter Collins, and the 
Rockaways took the field. 

In the Highfliers' half of the inning O'Neil 
made a base hit ; but he was left on second, as 
the three following batsmen went out in on^, two, 
three order. 

Sniderjohn did not get the kind of a ball he 
wanted this time. He knocked a high fly to Col- 
lins who caught it with ease. 

Gardner took his base on balls. Williams hit 
the first ball, and sent it straight and bard at 
Claude. Claude muffed it, but picking it up 
quickly, threw the runner out. O'Brien made 
three strikes, and Gardner was left on second. 

Dan Dockery was easily retired on a grounder. 
Archer did not repeat his error of judgment. He 
struck the ball for two bases, and stole third. 
Claude deliberately knocked a slow grounder be- 
tween first and second base. He was thrown out, 
but Archer scored on this model sacrifice hit. 
Pierson did nothing at the bat, and the Juniors 
walked into the field with the score 3 to i in 
their favor. Claude now surpassed himself. 
Three batsmen retired, each with three strikes 
recorded against him. 



84 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

And forthwith the Highfliers plucked up heart 
of grace. Walter Collins made a single. O'Neil 
advanced him to second on his out at first, and 
Drew sent the ball far into right field, bringing 
Collins home, and reaching second base. Over* 
beck made first on a juggled ball, and Stein 
brought both home on a long fly which was mis- 
judged by the centre-fielder. Dockery took his 
base on balls. Archer made a sacrifice hit, after 
Dockery had stolen second, bringing in Stein; 
and with two out, and Dockery on third, Claude 
came to the bat. 

" Hit it for all you're worth-— no sacrifice this 
time," whispered Archer. 

Claude gave a mighty swing of his bat, as the 
third ball came curving in over the plate ; and the 
centre and left-fielder both started out at full 
speed after the ball which was rolling toward the 
boundary of the ball-ground. It was a good three- 
base hit. Pierson made a neat single and Claude 
scored. Collins was thrown out by the third base- 
man. Score at the end of fourth inning: 9 to i 
in favor of the Juniors. 

Healy, Phillips, and Snyder of the opposing 
nine were easily put out ; the first on a fly to the 
second baseman, and the other two on easy 
grounders. 

For the Highfliers, 0*Neil and Drew made sin- 
gles. O'Neil tallied on Overbeck's out at first 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 85 

But Drew was left on third, as Stein struck out, 
and Dockery was retired on a foul to the third 
baseman. Score at the end of the fifth inning: 
ID to I in favor of the Juniors. 

The opposing players were now in very bad 
humor. They saw that with Claude in the box 
they could do very little. Sniderjohn, as he 
stepped to the bat, received a whispered commu- 
nication from Healy, the captain of the Rockaways. 

Harry Archer's quick ear caught the words: 
•* If you get a chance let the pitcher hit you." 

Then Harry waved his left hand to Claude, 
which meant " Pitch a swift straight ball." 

Claude obeyed. 

" One strike. " Sniderjohn stood like a statue. 

"One ball." 

"Two balls." 

" Two strikes. " Still Sniderjohn moved not a 
muscle. "Look out!" screamed Claude as the 
next ball came from his hand. But Sniderjohn 
moved not till the ball struck him squarely in the 
ribs. Then he gave a scream of pain, and threw 
his bat savagely at Claude, who barely succeeded 
in dodging it. 

" Did I hurt you?" cried Claude, running up to 
the home plate, " I didn't want to hit you." 

For answer, Sniderjohn struck him a violent 
blow on the mouth. Claude never deliberately 
went into a fight; but it had been his constant 



Sb CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

habit to return any blow given him. I say 
"habit," for our reckless little friend had so often 
provoked his older companions by acts of thought- 
lessness that the present situation was by n6 
means new to him. The result was that Claude 
was frequently drawn into a bout with lads his 
superiors both in weight and strength. That 
mattered little to Claude ; he knew not what physi- 
cal fear was. With a flush of anger he raised his 
fist and was about to answer in kind, when, with 
a sudden paling of the features, he checked him- 
self, and returned to his box. 

"Goodness gracious,*' he reflected, "that was 
hard. But I hope it'll make up for my conduct 
to Mr. Grace." 

Bravo, little Claude! 

Frank Elmwood and Rob Collins did not take 
the matter so calmly. 

^'Bah! you wretched coward," cried Frank, ad- 
vancing on Sniderjohn with flashing eyes, "I've 
a notion to rub your wretched ears into your 
wooden warehouse of a head. " 

" He nearly killed me," answered Sniderjohn. 

"None of that, Sniderjohn," broke in Archer. 
" It was your own fault. You wanted to be hit, 
and you got it in the ribs. Maybe I didn't hear 
your captain a- whispering to you." 

"That's a lie," said Sniderjohn. 

"You'd better remember that you're talking to 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 87 

a gentleman/' put in Rob Collins hotly, "which 
doesn't happen to you very often." 

"Who are you?" roared Snider John, 

" No, thanks," answered Rob, " I'd prefer to get 
along without being introduced. But I say, 
Archei", this thing has gone far enough. That 
fellow's a fraud. He's sixteen if he's a day, and 
he doesn't belong to the East Side: he lives in 
the southern part of the city. Make their captain, 
Healy, stand up to his agreement. If you don't, 
I'll try to get my brother home. I don't care 
about his playing with a fellow like that. " 

Healy, who was something of a gentleman, 
though not remarkable for strength of character, 
gave in to Archer's demand; Sniderjohn slunk 
into the crowd, and the game proceeded. The 
substitute for Sniderjohn took first base. How- 
ever, as he was thrown out in an attempt to steal 
second, nothing came of it. Gardner's fly was 
caught by the right-fielder. Williams redeemed 
his waning reputation by making a two-base hit. 
He remained on second base, as O'Brien struck out. 

The Juniors started their half of the inning 
very well. Archer made a safe hit, stole second, 
and easily made third on the grounder which 
Claude knocked into the first baseman's hands. 
Pierson was the second out on a long fly to centre- 
field, on which Archer scored. Collitus struck out. 
Score at the end of sixth inning : i s to 1. 



<» 



8 CLAUDE LIGJfTFOOT. 



Claude was standing in the pitcher's box, and 
about to begin the seventh inning, when he sud- 
denly dropped the ball, and, calling time, ran 
toward the back-stop. All turned their eyes in 
that direction, and saw Sniderjohn flying down 
the street with Claude's bat. But Claude had 
been so quick to discover this contemptible act of 
treachery that Sniderjohn, who was a poor runner 
in comparison with his pursuer, very shortly gave 
up the attempt at flight, and turning swung the 
bat in rapid half -circles about his face. Nothing 
daunted, Clande, with a quick dive, caught his 
adversary about the feet, and brought him sud- 
denly to the ground, receiving, as he did so, a 
sharp blow upon his right leg. 

Sniderjohn was making another attempt to 
strike this little boy with the bat, when Frank 
Elmwood, who had at once rushed to the scene of 
action, caught him by the neck, and swinging him 
to his feet, shook him as a dog would shake a rat. 

"Drop that bat," he commanded. 

And the bat was dropped. 

"Now, sir, make yourself scarce, or it will be 
the worse for you. '* And as Frank spoke he r6» 
leased his hold. 

Muttering some ugly words, Sniderjohn sham* 
bled away. 

Claude had received an ugly blow, and it wai 
several minutes before the game could be resumed. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 89 

Although his leg pained him not a little, he 
pitched with the same energy. It was now grow- 
kig dark, and the batsmen struck out in one, two, 
three order. 

Archer saw that Claude could not hold out for 
two more innings, and asked the umpire to call 
the game on account of darkness. 

Healy would have protested ordinarily; but 
new he was so ashamed of Sniderjohn's conduct, 
that he submitted without demur; and so the 
Highfliers left the field with a glorious victory 
over what had thus far been the invincible small 
boys* nine of Milwaukee. 

Claude was hardly able to walk: his leg was 
swelling more and more each minute. Frank 
Elm wood and Rob Collins took him between them, 
and bracing him up firmly brought him home. 

But for all their merry words, and sincere con- 
gratulations they could bring no cheer to Claude's 
heart. On the morrow, the boys of the First 
Communion class were to begin a three days' re- 
treat, and now he could scarcely move his leg, 
and his upper lip was sadly puffed out from Sni 
derjohn's cowardly blow. He feared, and as the 
event proved, not without reason, that he would 
be kept at home for at least two days, and of all 
days the two that were so important. Had it not 
been for the presence of his kind friends, Claude 
would have cried. 



SK> CLAUDE LIGMTFOOT. 

But where they failed to console, Kate succeeded. 
She listened that evening, as he lay in bed with 
his leg in bandages, to his account of the ball- 
game. 

" It was so good of you, dear," she said with her 
eyes beaming, "not to have returned that blow. 
Claude, you know how we*re all so anxious about 
your temper. Mamma was afraid only last year 
that it was going to be ungovernable.** 

" It's an awful bad one yet. Kit. If it weren't 
for my religion I don't know what would become 
of me, and it's all owing to you, Kit, that I've 
improved the little I have." 

" Well, dear, you have never told me anything 
that encourages me so much as the way you acted 
"when that boy struck you." 

" Is that so. Kit?" In the delighted energy with 
which he put this question, Claude jumped up in 
bed, only to fall back with a suppressed groan as 
a sharp pain shot through his leg. 

" It is, dear : indeed it is. You remember the 
story of Pancratius and how he refused to return 
the blow? You thought he was a hero. Well, 
my dear, God helped you in much the same way 
as He helped him." 

"Yes: but wasn't I just boiling over? I fell 
as if I could have given my life to return that 
blow." 

" So much the better — you had more to conquer 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 91 

Claude, my brother, I am sure that you will grow 
up to be a noble man." 

"Thank you, Kit: and now Fm willing to stay 
in bed for two days. I'm glad I reminded you of 
Pancratius; but the boy that I love even more 
than him is the little chap who died taking care 
of the Blessed Sacrament. Kate, Tarcisius is my 
hero, and I so wish I were like him.'* 

Then Kate and Claude said night prayers with 
swelling hearts. 

CHAPTER IX. 

IN WHICH CLA UDE SPENDS TWO DA YS IN BED, 

IT was Claude's wont to awake with the early 
birds, spring from bed, and begin the day in 
full flow of blithesomeness. But on Thursday 
morning he lay quite still, with his eyes fixe£ 
wistfully on the golden eastern sky. One day of 
imprisonment! Perhaps two days! Claude was 
appalled at the prospect. 

" May I come in, dear? " whispered a soft voice 
outside. 

"Come in, Kate. I*m so glad you're up.'* 

Kate stooped to kiss Claude, and her fresh smil* 
ing face gave him comfort. 

" I got up early to keep you company, Claude. " 

"You always do what's kindest." 

"And besides I have good news." 



92 CLAUDE UGHTFOOT. 

**Ah! I thought there was something coming, 
Kit; I could see it in your face. What is it?" 

** Mamma has given me permission to stay away 
from school to nurse you." 

"Oh, Kit!" and Claude took her hand in so 
hearty a grasp that Kate could not refrain from 
wincing. 

Shortly after the family breakfast Mrs. Light- 
foot entered. 

"My poor little cripple!" she cried as she 
caught Claude in her arms. " You were tossing 
all night." 

" How did you know that, mamma?" asked 
Claude in wonderment. He knew not the many 
hours of prayerful watches that had been passed 
beside his bed. 

"Now, Kate," said the mother, ignoring hei 
boy's question, " you might go to the college at 
once, and tell Father Maynard of Claude's condi- 
tion. Tell him that we shall have Claude up and 
about, please God, by Saturday morning; and ask 
him what we shall do during these two days. I 
will stay with Claude till you come back." 

Kate went off at once. 

" Claude, I spent a long time last night thinking 
about all you told me, and the more I thought the 
more I was satisfied. " 

"Tm so glad, mamma." 

" It has taken a grreat weight off my mind, dear. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 9S 

I have always trembled for your fiery temper. 1 
know what a temper is and what it costs. " Here 
Mrs. Lightfoot sighed. " But now, Claude, I see 
ihat you are on the way to breaking it. Mind, 
dear, you haven't conquered it yet. You may 
have trouble again on account of it, but I am sure 
that with God's grace you will conquer.'* 

" And my First Communion will be sure to help 
me — don't you think so, mamma?" 

" Undoubtedly ; and, Claude, I hope that it will 
take a good deal of your giddiness out of you. 
You are so reckless, my dear ; and I often think 
that if it weren't for your angel guardian's special 
care you would have been killed or maimed long 
ago." 

'* That's so," sighed Claude, "and I always like 
to pray to my angel because I know he's been a 
good friend of mine. And St. Joseph has got me 
out of a heap of scrapes; he's good to me too. 
It's a fact, mamma; I am reckless. But then, 
you see, I don't have time to think. Now, yester- 
day, if I'd had any sense, I'd have waited for Rob 
Collins and Frank Elm wood to come up, and I'd 
have got my bat without having my leg smashed. " 

Mrs. Lightfoot was in better health than usual 
that morning, and she contrived, like the good 
mother that she was, to interest her darling boy, 
and to spur him on in his honest endeavors. 

Kate returned very shortly. 



94 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

" Oh, mamma," she said, " you should have se^i 
how concerned Father Maynard was about Claude. 
He said that Claude needn't fret; and that even 
if he couldn't come to the college on Saturday 
it would be all right, because Claude is so well 
prepared already. He told me that I should give 
Claude a retreat in my own way," added Kate 
with a pleasant laugh, " and if by Saturday Claude 
were still unwell, he promised to come up here, 
and hear his confession." 

"That Father Maynard," said Mr. Lightfoot 
gravely, who had entered the room after Kate, 
" is an American." 

" He's a nice man, I can tell you," added Claude. 

Mr. Lightfoot looked closely at his son. 

" How do you feel, my boy?" 

" First rate, papa. " 

"I don't like that lip of yours. When my son 
makes his First Communion, I want him to look 
respectable. You must get that lip down to its 
proper size, and have your legs in good walking 
order, or you'll have to stay at home next Sunday. " 

Claude grew very pale. 

"You needn't fear, Claude," said Kate; "I'll 
nurse you night and day, if it's needful." 

"That's right, Kate," said the father kindly. 
"And get him anything he wants. Don't spare 
anything. I love my boy too much to see him 
make his Communion in a discreditable condition. " 



CLAUDE LWHTFOOT. 95 

Mr. Lightfoot looked upon a boy's First Com- 
munion as a public ceremony. His early school- 
ing and his later readings had led him to attach 
too much importance even in religious matters to 
externals. 

Perceiving Claude's dismay, he added a few 
kind words before setting out for his law office. 

"Well," said Claude to his sister, "if I don't 
get well soon enough it serves me right." 

"Why, dear?" 

" For my ugly conduct to Mr. Grace. Kate, it 
was awful. When I turned my back on him, I 
knew it was wrong; and still I did it." And 
Claude sighed. 

This small boy had a delicate conscience. He 
was thoughtless in the act, but very thoughtful in 
the retrospect. Many a word spoken or deed per- 
formed in mere lightness of heart had come back 
to him at night in memories charged with remorse. 
His preparation for Communion had, as is natural, 
increased the delicacy of his conscience — to such 
a degree, indeed, that he often saw sin where sia 
was not. 

"Don't worry about that, dear," said Kate in 
her soothing tones, "God knows your heart, my 
brother, and He is as quick to raise us as we are 
to fall." 

And Kate in her sweet, winning way went oa 
to speak of God's goodness and mercy, bringing 



§6 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

everything to bear upon the sacrament of Mis 
love. 

What with conversation, reading, th^ doctor's 
visit, and a few games of checkers, the morning 
passed quickly and pleasantly. 

In the afternoon Messrs. Grace and Russel called. 

While Kate entertained Mr. Russel, Mr. Grace 
addressed himself to his pupil. 

"It's very kind of you to come to me, sir," said 
Claude, gratefully. 

"Not at all," answered Mr. Grace. "You 
mustn't think of that little scene we had, Claude. 
I was surprised, but it's all over." 

"And besides that," vSaid Claude, "I'm such a 
nuisance to you in class; but I'm doing my best, 
sir." 

"And so am I, Claude. Sometimes I think 
that I'm too hard on some of you; but I can't see 
clearly where I am too severe. So, my boy, if it 
should happen that I should seem to be harsh with 
you, you must think that I'm doing my best; and 
whenever you annoy me I'll try to think you are 
doing your best. Is it a bargain?" 

And Mr. Grace's smile was very kind and his 
eye very soft as he looked down into the face of 
the patient. He was quite a different man when 
dealing with the sick and the suffering: and 
Claude now perceived for the first time that Mr. 
Grace had a tender heart. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 97 

"Yes, sir: I agree. I didn't think of it that 
way before. " 

" But I warn you, Claude, that my trying to think 
so may not be the same as my thinking so. I 
never could understand why some boys should be 
so boisterous. " 

Claude and Mr. Grace spoke with each other 
very freely ; and before their conference had ended 
Mr. Grace had said some very beautiful and very 
consoling things, which set Claude's soul into a 
warmer glow of desire for the coming Simday. 
Mr. Grace's best teaching was done outside class- 
room and playground. 

The visitors left the children very happy in* 
deed : and the evening found the two entertaining 
Rob and Frank. Thanks to the kindness and love 
of so many, Claude's day, which in the forecast 
had promised so ill, turned out to be most happy. 
Frank, before leaving his little friend, handed him 
a package. 

"Mr. Grace," he said, "asked me to give you 
this. I don't know what it is; but I hope it may 
^ive you pleasure. " 

Claude's eyes sparkled when he opened the 
packet, and held up the picture of the little Ro- 
man child Tarcisius, his hands clasped tightly 
and hugging to his bosom "the Christian Mys- 
teries/* while facing undauntedly the savage 
rat)bl@ that was about to take his life, who, happjf 



9^ CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

child, enjoyed the sublime privilege of carrying 
in his tiny hands Him who was the Life indeed. 
Claude said, " God bless Mr. Grace," in his night- 
prayers: and he put an amount of intensity into 
that little invocation. As for the picture of Tar- 
cisius, Claude's hero, he could hardly let it out of 
sight for a moment. This was the first lively boy 
that Mr. Grace had ever really won, and in the 
winning Tarcisius, beautiful little saint, entered 
Into the conquered one's life. 

The next day passed quietly. 

At last Saturday dawned, and with the dawn's 
flush upon his happy face arose Claude. He 
joined the boys in retreat, and in the afternoon 
made a general confession of his whole life: then 
blithe and happy, he left the College grounds to 
meet his heaviest cross— so cruel a cross that I 
have scarcely the heart to enter into the particulars. 



CHAPTER X. 

IN WHICH CLAUDE MEETS WITH HIS CROSS. 

CLAUDE left the " Sign of the Blue Flag" in 
the highest of spirits. He could have danced 
and leaped all the way home. The genial pro- 
prietor, who really loved our little madcap, had 
chosen him a suit of clothes, neat, pretty, and a 
perfect fit, for the great morning: so near at hand. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 99 

daude would have carried the bundle himself, 
but his friend would not hear of it. 

"You can trust me," he said, **to see that this 
package gets home before you. I wouldn't trust 
you with it, Claude: you'd be turning somersaults 
on it before you got across the bridge to Grand 
Avenue, and by the time you reached home your 
new suit wouldn't be fit to wear in a base-ball 
game." 

Claude laughed gayly, and trebling forth a 
cheery good -evening, hopped out of the store. 
People gazed at him with interest and pleasure as 
he moved along — and no wonder, A face at once 
so beautiful and so gay was a rare and charming 
sight. I said just now that Claude could have 
danced and leaped on his way : one thing restrained 
him. His right leg was still stiff and sore, and 
his doctor had warned him that any great exertion 
might cripple him for a week; so Claude limited 
his expressions of jubilation to hopping now and 
then upon his left foot, and to snapping his fingers 
in the air. 

He had gone two squares beyond the bridge, 
when his happy sunny face caught the attention 
of a lady in deep mourning. Her sad face lighted 
tenderly as she gazed upon the lad, and a look of 
wistfulness and infinite longing came into her eyes. 

He caught her gaze and vsmiled. The lady with 
the strange pathos upon her features advanced *« 



lOO CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Claude, and bending down said in trembling tones: 
" Permit me, my dear. ** 

And she pinned a rosebud upon his lawn-tennis 
shirt, while Claude, awed by her face, watched her 
in wonder. Then the lady touched his forehead 
lightly with her lips, and turned away with a sob 
to think of her own little boy who lay under the 
green grass out by the Soldiers' Home. 

He ceased hopping for fully two squares. 
Then, as he went past the Public Library, and 
found himself on that part of the Avenue where 
the residence portion begins, and where, in conse- 
quence, the streets are not so thronged, he broke 
into a merry song. Claude had a sweet voice: 
and in the fulness of his joy he sang with an 
abandon that gave his notes the freshness and 
spontaneity of a bird. 

By and by he left the Avenue, and taking one 
of the by-streets, turned north. He had gone but 
half a square when a pair of hands were clapped 
rudely over his eyes, each of his arms was seized, 
and he was forced along whither he knew not. 

Claude kicked and plunged wildly. 

" Grab his legs,*' whispered the one whose hands 
were over Claude's eyes, in a voice that seemed 
familiar. 

Claude gave a cry of pain, as one of his captors, 
in grasping him by the legs bore heavily upon the 
part so lately injured. He said no more; for a 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. \^1 

hand was placed over his mouth. Although he 
could see nothing, he had already discovered that 
his assailants were three in number; secondly 
that they were large boys; thirdly that two of 
them were smoking cigars. 

Presently he heard the sound of a door opening, 
and he could feel that they had passed in out of 
the open air, and that his captors were carrying 
him up a flight of steps. A moment later, the 
hands were removed from his eyes, and turning 
he found himself face to face with Worden. 

Worden, it may be remarked, had been expelled 
from college two weeks previous, for reasons that 
were not given out to the students. 

Claude had a quick eye and was a minute ob* 
server. He took in at a glance the fact that they 
were in the hay -loft of the stable ; that one-half 
of the roomy loft was piled with hay, while the 
©ther half, where they were now grouped to- 
gether, was bare, save for a few wisps of hay upoa 
the floor, a three-pronged pitchfork, and, upon a 
shelf near the entrance to the loft, a coal-oil can, 
a curry-comb, and an empty candlestick. With 
his back to the door, a smile of triumph and ma- 
lignity upon his face, stood Worden, and on either 
side of him two callow youths with pimpled fac®s^ 
who were both puffing away at cigars. 

The group thus fronting Innocence would have 
made an excellent study for the ** Three Disgraces. '* 



I02 CLAUDE LIGBTFOOT. 

Their costume is not worth describing. Take 
the fashionable dress of the time, imagine that 
fashion carried to the point of extravagance, the 
colors to flashiness, and the picture is complete. 

"Take care not to drop those cigars up here, 
fellows," said Worden in a low voice. Claude 
heard the remark, and treasured it up. 

"Now, monkey, I've got you," he added, leer- 
ing at his victim. "And I'm going to make yot» 
pay up for your impudence. " 

Claude said nothing: he had folded his arms, 
and stood gazing steadily into Worden 's eyes. 

"Slap him over, Worden," said the longer 
legged of the trio. 

" Stick his head in the hay, and hold him there 
for an hour," said the other. 

Claude felt in his heart that his faults were 
"coming home to roost." In pure lightness of 
heart and thoughtlessness he had taken many 
liberties with Worden during the few weeks they 
had been together at school. Frank Elmwood 
and Rob Collins had warned him time and time 
again to keep clear of the bully; but he had not 
appreciated the advice. He had dared the lion, 
and now he stood face to face with him in his den. 

" No," said Worden in answer to these sugges- 
tions, "we'll have some fun out of the monkey 
first, and then I'll f x him so's he'll remember me 
till he dies," 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. l*»3 

His face was very cruel as he spoke. Claude 
^till said nothing. Without appearing to do so,, 
^le took note of everything within reach. There 
were sharp pains shooting through his injured 
leg ; but he was too busy with contriving to give 
them thought. He noticed now that there was a 
buggy whip behind the door, and that a large 
window at his side looked out upon the lawn be- 
low. The whip was beyond his reach; to jump 
from the window meant a broken limb at the very 
least. He said a prayer to Saint Joseph for light, 
another to his angel guardian for protection. 

And yet he was not terrified. Claude had como 
free of many a danger, had faced and escaped 
many a peril. His recklessness, it is scarcely any 
exaggeration to say, had brought him to such a 
habit of living that he might be said, in a certain 
sense, to carry his life in his hands. Horses had 
run away with him, vehicles had been within an 
ace of running over his body, men had chased 
him in anger — yet, in all his little experience, he 
had never been brought to such a pass as the 
present. But in such a crisis, to Saint Joseph 
and his angel had he ever confided his personal 
safety, and to his angel and Saint Joseph did he 
now look. 

"Monkey," continued Worden, "perform som« 
of your monkey-tricks for us." 

Claude still faced him in silence. 



I ©4 CLAUDE LICtMTFOOT, 

"Do yon understand? Show us what you can 
do. Come on ; you can begin with a hand-spring. " 

"I'll not/' said Claude, checking as well as he 
could his rising anger. 

'" Is that the way you speak to me, you vile 
little sneak?" 

"You're a bully!" said Claude, the hot anger 
flushing his face. 

Worden sprang forward, and with his open 
palm struck him a blow over the eye that sent 
the boy to the floor. 

He arose with the stinging pains in his leg re- 
doubled in their intensity. 

" Now, will you be civil, and do as you're told?" 
continued Worden, his face very grim, and an 
ugly light in his eyes. 

" No," said Claude; and he meant it. 

Such a cruel face as the little lad gazed upon! 
Cruelty is a mystery, and its father is a mystery. 
There is a certain class of sins that gradually 
blinds the mind, enfeebles the will, and foi^^s 
out of even the youthful heart every spark of 
kindness and of love. There is a certain class 
of sins which strikes like a frost upon the heart, 
blights every bud of promise, and puts forth in 
place thereof the weeds of selfishness and cruelty. 

Claude saw the effects of such sins, he knew 
nothing of the cause. He had never before seen 
to what awful depths cruelty could go. To him 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 10% 

these faces were as much a mystery as is life t^ 
the student of science. Now he stood face to fact 
with sin in its hideous consequences ; he the pure, 
the innocent, the devout, with the cleansing 
waters of sacramental absolution still fresh upon 
his spirit. Here you have a picture with two 
sides, my young reader, sin on one, sinlessness on 
the other. Yours it must be to choose. Claude 
did not perceive the force of this picture, for he 
did not understand all that lay behind the cruelty 
of those faces. But later on, as this narrative un- 
folds, he saw the same picture again in clearer 
light, in other circumstances, and he understood it. 

Worden took the buggy- whip from behind the 
door. 

" Now, sir, if you don't obey, I'll horsewhip you 
till the blood comes. " 

** What do you want me to do?" asked Claude. 

" Begin by turning a hand-spring." 

** Very well ; let me start from the door there. " 

And Claude stepped over till he was near the 
door, against which Worden was leaning. 

Looking straight ahead of him as though meas- 
uring the distance, he took two steps forward, 
then raised his arms in the air as if about to 
spring. Suddenly both arms flew out, one to his 
right, one to his left, and while one hand snatched 
the lighted cigar from the long-legged young 
man's mouth the other seized the coal-oil can; 



lo6 CLAUDE LIGMTFOOT. 

and before a single one of the lookers-on cotild 
realize what had come to pass, Claude was stand- 
ing beside the hay, the cigar in one hand held 
jnst directly over the hay where the inverted can 
was soaking it with coal-oil. And in the same 
instant — for it all came about in a flash — he 
shouted out : 

"If one of you moves a step, I'll drop this 
cigar. "* 

CHAPTER XI. 

IN WHICH CLA UDE MAKES HIS ESCAPE, 

THERE was courage in Claude's flashing eyes, 
determination in his set face, though the 
mouth was partially open to relieve his heavy 
breathing. He looked neither at cigar nor at oil- 
can, but kept his eyes fixed steadily upon the three, 
who had turned ashen pale. 

Not one of them moved; not one of them 
uttered a word ; it was as though all had beea 
gorgonized. 

"What do you wish?'* Worden finally gasped; 
for the steady eye of Claude had cowed him, and 
he feared in the ignorance of his heart that any 
imprudence on his part would be the signal for 
an explosion followed by the burning of his 
father's stable. None of these three ruffians was 
at all familiar with chemistry. 

"I give you fellows one minute to ^o down 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 1 07 

there on the lawn, and stand where I can see you 
from that window." 

"Come on, fellows; or 1*11 never hear the end 
of this," said Worden, still in a whisper. 

Claude moved not till they were out of the 
room. Then as the last one disappeared, he 
arose, put the cigar in his mouth and puffed at it 
vigorously. He was not done with it yet, and it 
would not serve his purpose were the light to go 
out. Claude, like Worden, was of opinion that a 
lighted cigar dropped upon coal-oil would produce 
an instantaneous blaze. 

He walked over to the window, this small boy, 
still puffing away at the cigar. A passer-by look- 
ing up would have laughed ; the innocent young 
face and the burning cigar looked so incongruous. 
But the three rowdies as they came upon the lawn 
and stared up at the window did not laugh ; for 
they now knew that it was possible to hold a 
small boy in respect. 

Claude, as he blew out clouds of smoke, took in 
the situation. The stable faced upon an alley 
near Thirteenth Street, and running up to Four- 
teenth. 

** I'll keep this cigar lighted," said Claude as he 
removed it from his mouth, " till you fellows go 
Bp that alley as far as Fourteenth Street. And 
you'd better hurry too; for I'm in dead earnest 
And don't dare turn your heads on the way." 



I®8 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

As though they had been his slaves, the three 
hurried out of the yard, into the alley, and ran in 
the direction indicated as though their lives de- 
pended upon it. As they went through the gate, 
Claude clattered down the stairway, and gaining 
the alley set oflE at the top of his speed for Thir- 
teenth Street. He did not succeed as well as he 
had hoped ; for before he had reached the street, 
his enemies, who had gained the corner of Four- 
teenth, turned just in time to see him. With a 
loud cry they started in pursuit. 

Poor Claude! his race had cost him dear. His 
right leg refused to stand further strain, and he 
could hear the sharp footfalls of his pursuers as 
they clattered up the alley. Further running was 
out of the question. He looked about him. At 
his side was a lawn, back of which rose a hand- 
some residence. Without a moment's hesitation 
Claude hobbled in by the open gateway, made 
the porch with difficulty, and crawling under it, 
lay quiet till he heard his pursuers turn the corner 
in full cry, and dash up the street. 

He had no small trouble in emerging from his 
hiding-pla,ce, and with much pain and labor, pick- 
ing his way by every odd and end that could yield 
him support, he walked, or rather crawled to the 
kitchen, and knocked. 

" Come in, ' said a voice. 

The door opened, amd the cook raisef ha^ hands 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. I ©J 

ia horror, as she saw a small boy, his clothes 
covered with dirt, his face bleeding and very pale, 
standing hatless and in an attitude of entreaty at 
the door. 

Then she gave a cry, as the little figure toppled 
over, face foremost, and lay still and senseless 
upon the floor. 

Claude had fainted from pain. 

CHAPTER XII. 

IN WHICH KATE AND CLAUDE ARE BITTERLY DISAP* 

POINTED, 

" A RE you better, my poor boy?" 

jfjL Claude as he opened his eyes and caught 
these words saw that he was in a luxuriously fur- 
nished room, and that a refined lady was bending 
over him, while she applied smelling-salts to his 
nostrils. 

** I can't move it," said Claude with a groan. 

''What, dear?" 

"My leg, ma'am. Oh, please have me taken 
home; I'm afraid I shall not be able to go out to- 
morrow. Oh, dear — it's hard." 

" Indeed, my little boy, you must stay quiet for 
some days. " 

Claude groaned again. Ah! he had set his 
heart upon that First Communion morning. 

" What is your name?" 

"Claude Lightfoot, ma'am.** 



lio CLAUDE LIGRTFOOT. 

** And how did you come to be so hurt? 

**I can't tell the story, now ma'am. Some 
boys handled me roughly ; I had hurt my leg some 
days ago, and now it's worse; and to-morrow was 
to be my First Communion day. " 

A doctor, who had been summoned when Claude 
swooned, now entered. He examined the little 
patient, and said easily : 

"Oh, it's of no consequence; the boy will be 
about as well as ever in a week. " 

And he was very much astonished when Claude 
stifled a sob and turned his face away. 

"What's the matter, boy? Are you afraid to 
lie in bed?" 

" It's an ugly dream, " said Claude. " Oh, please 
take me home." 

"Can he be moved safely, doctor?" asked the 
lady. 

" Yes ; but he must be carried with great care. " 

" And Fm your man to see to that," said a brisk, 
good-humored young man of nineteen or twenty, 
who had just entered. " The coachman is waiting 
outside, and if you, little fellow, will trust me, 
I'll carry you as though you were made of glass." 

Claude held out his hand to the lady. 

" Thank you, ma'am, very much. If you please, 
I'll come to see you when I get well, and thank 
yon again and tell you all about it. But just now 
I feel too bad. Good-by. " 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. Ill 

" God bless you !'* said the lady very gently. She 
was a mother, and knew how sacred were the sor- 
rows of children. 

" Was it that brute of a Worden that got you into 
this fix?" asked young Mr. Andrews as the carriage 
rumbled over the street 

" How did you guess?" cried Claude in aston- 
ishment. 

" If anything goes wrong about here, it's six to 
one that he's in it. Cheer up, little boy. You 
mustn't take your trouble too hard." 

" But you don't understand all," said Claude. 

And then, won by Mr. Andrews' sympathy, and 
revived by the light evening breeze, he told his 
story. Mr. Andrews listened in amazement; for 
despite Claude's modesty and unassumingness 
in the telling, his listener succeeded in piecing out 
the boy's bravery and determination throughout 
the sad ordeal. 

** Little boy, you're a trump," he said warmly, 
"and you're worth a dozen by yourself. If I 
weren't a civilized man and in a civilized city, 
I'd give that Worden such a cowhiding." And 
Mr. Andrews clinched his fists. 

" Please don't touch him, sir, on my account. I 
guess I'm done with him. It was partly my own 
fault anyhow. And now, sir, I'm beginning to feel 
bad about the way I acted in that loft. I lost my 
temper awfully, and it was just after confession." 



112 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Our little friend was beginning to suffer scru- 
ples. As I have already said, he was quick to act, 
and afterward prone to find wrong-doing where he 
had acted either without reflection, or where he 
had followed, as he saw matters, what at the tim^ 
appeared to be reasonable. 

"Well, sir!" exclaimed Mr. Andrews, with 
strong emphasis on the " sir, '' " if ever you do 
nothing worse than that you'll go straight to 
heaven." 

He added a moment later: 

"Claude, Tm not of your religion ; in fact I'm 
not much on any sort of religion, but when you 
do go to Communion won't you say a little prayer 
for me?" 

"I'll be very glad, Mr. Andrews." 

"And, my boy, if ever you want a friend, and 
don't know where to go, just call on me. I can't 
say how glad I am to have met you ; and mother 
will be very much disappointed, and so shall I, if 
you don't pay us that visit as you promised her." 

"You're very kind, sir," said Claude bright- 
ening. 

"Ah, here we are," continued Mr. Andrews, as 
the carriage drew up at the sidewalk facing Mr. 
Lightfoot's house, and the driver threw open the 
door. " If you can manage to walk, Claude, by 
leaning on me, it will look better, and not scare 
your people so much. " 



CLAUDE LJGHTFOOT. 1 13 

"FUtry, sir." 

But the efifort was beyond Claude; and while 
the coachman preceded them and rang the bell, 
Mr. Andrews carried his charge in his arms. 

"Don't be alarmed," said the young man, as 
the servant threw open the door. "Claude has 
injured his leg again." 

There was a inistle and a quick movement, and 
Kate came hurrying down the stairs, very pale, 
but under great restraint. 

"My dear," she said, ignoring the stranger's 
presence, and, after kissing Claude, fixing her 
eyes intently upon his face, "what has happened?" 

"It's nothing, Kate; only I can't walk." 

Kate's features worked, and her bosom heaved 
with emotion ; but with a mighty effort she re- 
strained her feelings. 

" Mamma must not know it too suddenly, dear. 
Sir, would you kindly carry him to his bedroona 
after me — and very softly, sir, for my mother is 
an invalid, and we must not shock her." 

And Kate led the way praying for strength. 

"Kate," said Claude when he lay resting upoa 
the white-covered bed which no hand but his sis- 
ter's ever arranged, " I want you to know this 
gentleman, who has been ever so kind to me, Mr. 
Andrews. " 

" Thank you, thank you a thousand times, Mr. 
Andrews, for your goodness toward my brother. " 



114 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

"Don*t mention it, Kate. I am glad to meet 
the sister of snch a brother. And now,*' added 
Mr. Andrews with a fine delicacy, "I'll take my 
leave, as I have an important engagement, and 
beg permission to call on yon with my mother to- 
morrow." 

And Mr. Andrews left, a better, wiser man for 
what little he had seen of Kate and Claude. 

Then Kate having conducted Mr. Andrews to 
the door, returned, laid her cheek beside that of 
her brother, and put her arm round his neck. 
But she said nothing. 

" What's the matter. Kit? Why don't you talk?" 

There was no answer. 

"Say, Kit: it's hard, awful; it's just too bad: 
I can't go to Holy Communion to-morrow." 

The arm tightened about his neck, but still no 
answer. 

" I feel as bad about it as I can feel about any- 
thing. Kit. It seems to pull at my heart. Say, 
Kit, why don't you ask me to tell how it all hap- 
pened?" 

Then he heard a sob and raised his head with 
a start. 

"Why, Kit; you're crying; thafs what's the 
matter. Oh, please don't. I can't bear it to see 
you give up. Kit, I'm a fool, I'mi a wretched — I 
don't know what. I might have known that it 
would come harder on you than on me. and here 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 1 15 

I go on talking* a« if I was the only one in it. 
Now, Kit, I can stand it — you see if I can't. I'll 
never complain again. Stop crying, Kit, and I'll 
laugh, and show you I can stand a knock as well 
as any one." 

And there Claude paused in unspeakable dis- 
tress : for Kate sighed and sobbed as though her 
heart were breaking. Claude's joys and sorrows 
were hers, and the girl, even had Claude not 
spoken, could picture vividly her brother's sorrow 
and distress. 

"Kit," continued Claude, "it's only the differ- 
ence of a few days; and I'll be prepared all the 
better. I will. Then it will be just the same as 
if nothing had happened. The pain is all over 
now, Kit, and you'll see that I won't bother one 
bit." 

Claude spoke the truth. In his distress at see- 
ing his sister's burst of grief and in his self- 
reproach at awakening her sorrow, he had, as far 
as the will goes, fully resigned himself to the 
inevitable delay. 

At length Kate raised her face, and looked 
down upon him. 

"I couldn't help it, dear," she said softly; "it 
was cruel of me " 

"No, it wasn't," roared Claude. 

" But I had to have my cry out. And now that's 
over, Claude, and we'll begin ag^ain. We had set 



Ii6 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

otir hearts on our First Communion, Claude, and 
we weren't ready for such a shock, were we?'* 

"That's so," answered Claude. 

" But now we're going to go on, just the samn 
as if nothing had gone wrong." 

"Yes, Kit; we're both able to stand it now." 
And Claude told his story; but in such a way that 
instead of figuring as the hero he made himself 
out to be the villain. He made light of Worden's 
cruelty, made light of the pain he had suffered, 
and dilated upon his own burst of anger. But 
Kate knew her brother, knew that his tender 
conscience exaggerated the evil of what he had 
done ; and she at once cheered him and relieved 
his scruples in a few happy words. 

Then wiping her eyes she left Claude to break 
the news to her mother. 

She performed her task well. She led Mrs. 
Lightfoot so gently to understanding the case 
that the shock and disappointment were reduced 
to a minimum. 

The father, when he returned, heard the news 
with dismay. He was strangely vexed; he saw 
that Claude was in nowise to blame, but his disap- 
pointment had to vent itself on something or 
some one, and he chose Claude. The little boy on 
his bed of pain listened humbly to his father's 
scolding. 

"I deserved it, Kit," he said that night. "Pa 



CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 1 17 

kmows that if I had behaved at school Worden 

wotild have left me alone. But I'll be out in a 

few days, and we'll make it all right next Sunday." 

Claude was again reckoning without his host. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

IN WHICH MR. RUSSEL UNWITTINGLY PROPHESIES. 

MR. LIGHTFOOT, on the following day, grew 
somewhat reconciled to his disappointment. 
He spoke very kindly to Claude, and did all in 
his power to console him. 

But when a question arose of choosing some 
other Sunday for Claude's First Communion, the 
father's prejudices came into play. Mr. Light- 
foot considered the blazing of many candles, the 
pomp of priestly vestments, the organ peal, and a 
number of boys in white kid gloves, and of girls 
with blue sashes and crowns of flowers, as being 
almost essential to the proper making of First Com- 
munion. He could no more conceive of one boy's 
making his First Communion alone than he could 
conceive of one bird's flocking together by itself. 
There could be no pomp, no dignity, no display 
where one boy was concerned. To omit this 
pomp, this dignity, this display on so striking an 
occasion would be un-American. In the end it 
came to this, that Claude was to make his First 
Communion when and where the ceremonies 



Il8 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

came suflficiently tip to Mr. Lightfoot's standards^ 
of Americanism. This threw very little light upon 
the subject, Mr. Lightfoot's standard on this 
point being known to no one, including himself. 

Claude was kept quite busy for four days enter- 
taining many visitors, and receiving their condo- 
lences. All who called were astonished at his 
cheerfulness and mirth; many judged that the 
mischance had caused him no sorrow. Claude 
and Kate said nothing of Worden to the college- 
boy visitors; for they feared that should Elmwood 
or Collins or Winter learn of his cruelty, the bully 
might have to render a hard account. 

On Friday Claude started for school with as 
happy a face as though he had never known a 
trial. It was a beautiful morning, and the sound 
of a few singing birds that had strayed into the 
Avenue fell delightfully upon his ears, while the 
clear, cool air, the odor of flowers, and the fresh, 
green lawns — were there ever such lawns, so 
green, so trim, as those that adorn the Avenue of 
Milwaukee? — all these things, I say, filled him 
with happiness. What a pleasure it was to feel 
his feet firm beneath him, to leap, to bound in 
healthful youth and happy innocence. Claude felt 
what a great joy it was to be well again ; and he 
was happy as a lark. To leave nothing wanting, 
he came upon a tin can, and had the exquisite 
pleasure of kicking it full two squares- 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, I IJ 

"Hello! little man," exclaimed Mr. Russel as 
the cheerful yonth tripped in at the college gate. 

" How de do, sir? " responded Claude as he 
doffed his cap and burst into a radiancy of smile. 

"Fmglad to see you. Come on here, and sit 
down; I want to have a talk with you." 

Mr. Russel, who was stationed in the yard each 
morning, partly to greet the boys, partly to urge 
the loiterers in to studies, led Claude over to the 
bench. 

" Claude, " he began, ** I'm glad your Communion 
was put off." 

Claude looked surprised. 

" So you don't believe me?" 

"Yes, sir, if you say so." 

"I do say it. Look here, Claude, I've been 
thinking about your case a good deal, and the 
more I think, the surer I feel that it was a good 
thing that it turned out the way it did." 

"You didn't think I was good enough, sir." 

" I didn't say any such thing. No: the more I 
thought of it, the more I felt convinced that you 
were the best prepared boy in the class. And 
that's the reason I felt glad that you were put off.** 

Claude broke into a giggle. 

" You needn't make fun of me," said the prefect 
in his most serious way. 

"I'm not, sir; but it seems so funny to hear 
that I was put off because I was so well prepared." 



xao CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

" It seems funny, but it isn't. And the reason 
why I stick to my opinion is because I know that 
God's ways are not our ways. Do you understand?" 

"No, sir." 

**Who said you did? Well, here's the case. 
You knew your catechism like a book. You made 
every effort to get over your faults. You prayed 
hard, and you learned your lessons, and you 
stopped fidgeting in class as near as it is possible 
for you to do so, and when you lost your temper 
and talked back to Mr. Grace, you did penance 
for it in sackcloth and ashes " 

"I think not, sir." 

" Little boy, I speak in figures. And Father 
Maynard considered you the best prepared boy of 
all, and so did the president and the vice-presi- 
dent; and your teacher was anxious for you to 
make your First Communion " 

"Was he, sir?" 

"Of course, he was; and so was I, And I 
prayed for you everyday, and he prayed for you." 

"You did? " exclaimed Claude in astonishment. 

"Can't you believe anything I say? Of course, 
we did. We don't measure the importance of 
people by their size. Well now, let me go on. 
There was that sister of yours. She's as good a 
girl as any I know of. She was praying and 
working with you " 

" Yes, indeed, sir : she did more than I did. " 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOr. I«l 

•'And your mamma was praying to see the day, 
and, in fact, we were all anxious for it. And 
then yon made a great confession, a splendid 
confession. " 

" How did yon know that, sir?'' 

" Didn't I see you coming out of the chapel with 
a smile that was worth getting patented, it was so 
happy? Now look you, Claude; everything was 
in your favor, and still you were held back. Who 
held you back?'* 

"God," said Claude. 

"Boy, you've got brains. It was God; it was 
by His permission that you were held back. 
Now, Claude, I'm only thirty years old, but I've 
tried to keep my eyes open all my life; and if a 
man does that, he can see as much in thirty years 
as another can in sixty; and I tell you, Claude, 
that, as far as I can judge from all that I've known 
and seen and read, I tell you that God has allowed 
you to be put off because He has special designs 
on you. He has taken the matter out of our little 
hands into His own. Keep up your courage, my 
little man, and each day as you arise try to act 
as though that day were to be your Communion 
day. It's coming — you don't know when, I don't 
know when. But come it will, when and where 
God pleases. He will dispose of all things sweetly, 
and it is my honest belief that when God does 
eonae to you, my little man, He will come with 



X2 2 CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 

Special and wondrous graces. There, Claude, 
that's my opinion.** 

Mr. Russel in these latter words had dropped 
his tone of banter ; his face had taken on a look 
of earnestness; and his heart kindled his words 
into what sounded like inspiration. One could 
see that he meant what he said, that he was speak- 
ing from strong conviction. And yet had he 
learned at that moment how close he had come 
upon the actual facts, how literally his words 
forecast what was to come, he would have been 
astounded. 

This high, lovely, and consoling spirituality 
fell upon willing ears and penetrated a noble 
heart. 

"Mr. Russel,*' said Claude arising and taking 
the prefect's hand, "I can't say what I'd like to 
say. People don't know how I've been feeling, 
for I've kept it to myself, but now it's all gone, 
and I'm happier than ever. And I won't forget 
what you've said — not one word." 

And as Claude went into the chapel, he said to 
himself : 

" Oh, if I could only grow up to be a man like 
him!" 

And Mr. Russel thought : 

" That little mite will be able to teach me any- 
thing, whether in virtue or learning, before I'm 
fift'. ** 



CLAUDE LIGJITFOOT. 1-3 



CHAPTER XIV. 

m WHICH WILLIE HARDY, THE ''LIGHT VILLAIN'' OF THE 
STORY, APPEARS UPON THE SCENE. 

CLAUDE was not the only boy whose First 
Communion was put off. On the second day 
of the retreat Willie Hardy was told by Father 
Maynard to wait another year. Willie was a re- 
markably pretty boy, with an innocent face and 
a constant smile. He was quiet, and had a habit 
of taking his hat off whether to father, prefect, or 
professor with the prettiest air imaginable. He 
had entered college three days after Claude, and 
thus far was a favorite with the faculty, and the 
most unpopular youngster in the yard. Willie 
was in a way a diplomat. He showed his velvet 
to his teachers, his claws to the boys. When the 
news spread that he was not to make his First 
Communion there was great surprise : but among 
his mates little regret. I said just now that he 
was disliked; it would have been more proper 
to say that he was held in contempt. Willie 
Hardy was an habitual liar. 

He noticed Claude closely on the day of our 
lively friend's return to college, and it struck his 
fa^cy that perhaps Claude, who now tripped about 



124 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

as though his limbs had never known injury, had 
pretended lameness, and thus saved himself from 
the imputation of being considered mifit to ap- 
proach the Blessed Sacrament. To Willie this 
seemed very probable; he considered Claude a 
bad boy. Had Claude not laughed at his lisp? 
Had Claude not poked him in the ribs, and crushed 
his stiff hat? All these things in Willie's eyes 
were very wicked. Now the step from " it may 
be so" in Willie's mind to ** it is so'' had been 
worn down so effectually by constant lying that 
they were almost flush with each other. 

"I thay, Frank," he cried, running up flushed 
and eager and pretty to Elmwood who was talking 
with Collins, " did you hear the newth?" 

"What's the matter now?" asked Frank. 

"Lightfooth thickneth wath all in hith eye." 

" Thickness ! thickness !" echoed Frank. " What 
the mischief does anybody care about Lightfoot's 
thickness?" 

"I didn't say thickneth," cried Willie with a 
captivating smile, " I said — " here he took breath, 
and with an effort said — "thickneth." 

I really think that Willie's lisp had been a help 
to him in his career of lying. It was a charming 
lisp, and grown folks had been so much taken up 
with the prettiness of his pronunciation as to pay 
little or no attention to what he said. Thus many 
0f his Arabian statements had been allowed to pass 



Cz^aUDE lightfoot. \%% 

unchecked, while people fell into ecstasies over 
his lisp. 

"Perhaps you mean sickness, Sissie," said 
Frank, tinsoftened by the blandishments of the 
pretty boy. 

"Yeth; Lightfoot played off; he wathn*t to 
make hith Firth Communion anyhow. Father 
Maynard told me tho himthelf. He thaid that 
he*d rather let me go than Claude, becauthe Claude 
wath the wortht boy in the yard.** At the end of 
this clear and accurate statement of fact, Willie 
folded his hands and looked positively celestial. 
Frank and Rob, on the other hand, looked of the 
earth earthly; Frank's face, in particular, becom- 
ing very grim. 

"Are you lying, as usual?*' 

"Croth my heart,** protested Willie, "ith the 
truth, and nothing el the.** 

Frank gave a growl, and catching his angelic 
informant by the collar, proceeded very rapidly 
toward the college building. 

"Wath the matter, Frank?** asked Willie, mak- 
ing no attempt to struggle. 

" I'm going to Father Maynard's room with you 
to find out from his own lips if what you've said 
is true. *' 

"Father Maynard ithn*t in. I thaw him jump- 
ing on a threet car going down-town jutht two 
lainuth ago." 



126 CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 

"Heavings!" exclaimed Collins, who had kept 
abreast of Frank. "There's Father Maynard 
standing at his window now, and reading his 
breviary. Sissie, if all yonr lies were glued to- 
gether, they'd make a walking-track from here to 
San Francisco." 

"I've a notion to put your head in the tub," 
added Frank. 

"No, no: pleathe don't do that. You'll thpoil 
my new collar. I take it back, Frank. It wath 
all a joke." 

Giving the sweet youth, who, by the way, was 
highly perfumed, a squeeze that elicited a shriek, 
Frank released his hold, saying as he did so : 

"You'd better not tell that lie to any one 
else. " 

" O no, Frank ; I wath jutht going to tell you 
how it wath a joke when you rumpled my collar, 
I'll not thay another word about it." 

And then Willie with his sweet smile hurried 
away, and before the end of recess had told the 
same story to nineteen or twenty boys of his own 
age. It is no slight tribute to his reputation to 
add that not a single bo)'' believed him. Several 
were good enough to tell him plainly and une- 
quivocally that he was lying, whereupon Willie 
without change of color or show of surprise would 
cross his heart, and go on protesting the truth q& 
every word. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, l2^ 

It was seldom that his fancy hit upon so damag- 
ing a lie ; and he did not take into accotmt that a 
lie aimed at a person's reputation is far more 
serious in its character than one that is harmful 
chiefly to the teller. He learned this distinction 
that afternoon, when the vice-president read him 
a homily before the class, then took the youngster 
to his room, and returned him five minutes later 
all in tears and sobs and blushes. 

Claude was the last to hear the story; and he 
iaughed till the tears ran down his cheeks. After 
Willie's whipping, he was the first and only boy 
to condole with the talented liar. 

**It wath a joke," protested Willie between his 
sobs. Then he borrowed ten cents of Claude, 
and owes him that money to this day. 

The months of May and June passed quickly. 
Claude kept Mr. Russel's prediction in mind, an(3 
he rose each day with the determination to be as. 
good as possible. But it was one thing to resolve^ 
and another to carry out the resolution. He was 
still giddy, restless, and impulsive. Mr. Grace 
was very gentle with him; for he really and 
thoroughly sympathized with the little boy in his 
trial; but for all that, he thought it his duty to 
call Claude to task quite frequently; and Claude, 
it must be said, took his punishment with an equal 
mind. 

In the yard. Claude often ran foul of the more 



125 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

dignified young students, and, on the whole, his 
record was not satisfactory. 

"I do m}^ thinking after it's all over,'' he used 
to say; and then he would go off to confession, 
and relieve himself of his scruples. 

Even Mr. Russel was sometimes discouraged. 

"See here, Claude," he said one day when his 
impulsive friend had been within a little of being 
crushed under the heels of the larger boys in a 
foot-ball rush, "if you don't get some prudence 
into your head, you'll never grow up to cultivate 
a mustache. Didn't I tell you that small boys 
are not allowed to play foot-ball with the big 
boys?" 

"I didn't think, sir." 

"Well, it's about time for you to take thought. 
Get your history, my little man." 

Claude learned his twenty-five lines; and that 
very afternoon, on his way down-town to meet his 
sister, escaped almost by a miracle from unde^: 
the hoofs of a team of horses. 

Claude himself was inclined to despair; but 
Kate, gentle and firm, never gave up. She waited 
and prayed for the day when her brother would 
awake to a sense of thoughtfulness and prudence. 

At the closing exhibition our little friend won 
tfce silver medal in elocution, and first premiums 
in history, geography. Christian doctrine, reading, 
aad spelling. In Latin, in English grammar, and 



CLAUDE 129 

in composition, — branches which require applica- 
tion, — he received no mention. It is superfluous 
to add that his name was not recorded on the list 
of students distinguished for excellent deportment. 

Thus after three months at a Catholic school, 
we find Claude still setting the same problem to 
Frank Elm wood. Trials and resolutions had had 
full play, and yet no material change had taken 
place. 

On the morning after the distribution of prizes 
Frank Elm wood called at Claude's house. 

"I want to see your father," said Frank very 
shortly, and in much excitement. 

Claude called his father, and with a certain in- 
stinctive delicacy left the two alone in the parlor. 

"Sir," said Frank, after the customary inter- 
change of greeting, "I came to ask you a great 
favor. " 

"Well?" 

"Winter and I and Dan Dockery and Willie 
Hardy and Charles Pierson are going to camp out 
for a few weeks at Lake Vesper, about thirty miles 
from here. A number of the college boys are to 
board at houses near us, and, as you know, the 
Collins people have a villa there, and are within 
a few minutes' walk of the place where we're 
going to pitch our tent Now, sir, we have plenty 
of room for one more: Dockery and Pierson are 
special friends of Claude's^ and it would be splen- 



13« CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT, 

did if you'd let Claude come along. All the 
fellows want it. " 

" It's an outing, what they call an outing,*' said 
Mr. Lightfoot stroking his chin reflectively. " I 
rather like the idea myself. Outing is such a 
thoroughly American way of doing things." 

" We've got over ten dollars* worth of fireworks 
for the Fourth of July, sir; and we're going to 
have a jolly bonfire. And on the morning of the 
Fourth we're going to have six American flags 
sluck about our tent." 

"Excellent!" exclaimed Mr. Lightfoot, clapping 
his hand upon Frank's back. " But you shall have 
a dozen flags, and another ten dollars' worth of 
fireworks, — I shall send them myself." 

" But what about Claude — may he come?" 

"I'm decidedly in favor of it. I'm highly 
pleased with what you've told me. But on a 
question like that I must consult my wife, and, of 
course, Kate. Just wait one moment. — Claude," 
he called, going to the door. 

"Yes, Papa." 

" Ask your mamma and sister to step this way 
for a moment." 

Mrs. Lightfoot, whose ancestors had fought and 
bled for the cause of independence, betrayed a 
curious want of interest concerning the number 
of American flags ; but was very searching in her 
questions as to what measures had been taken for 



CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 131 

cooking, sleeping accommodations, and shelter. 
Prank gave sufficiently satisfactory replies, and 
after a conference of some three-quarters of an 
hour, Mrs. Lightfoot and Kate gracefully yielded 
their assent. Then Claude was summoned. 

How his eyes danced when he heard what had 
been decided upon! He ran up to Frank and 
pounded him affectionately on the back, and Frank 
smiled while smothering the pain; for Claude's 
strokes were as strong as they were affectionate. 

"Now, my dear," said the mother, "I put you 
in full charge of Frank as long as you're away; 
and you are to obey him as you would me. *' 

"Yes, mamma, I'll do it." 

"And," added Frank, "I'll be as careful of 
Claude as I know how." 

" How are you off for hammocks?" asked Mr. 
Lightfoot. 

" Well, the truth is, sir, I've been put to so much 
expense buying necessaries that I've put oflE get- 
ting such extras till next year." 

"Since Claude is going," continued Mr. Light- 
foot, " it's my duty to take a share in the expenses. " 

"We didn't count on that, sir." 

" Oh, I'll do the counting. Now if you've time, 
you might go down to Carroll & Kennedy's notion 
store, and get, say three hammocks. If they 
haven't any in stock, they'll very willingly order 
them for you." 



132 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

" Thank you ever so much, sir. The boys will 
be delighted. " 

" It's the American way of doing things in the 
country/' said Mr. Lightfoot. " And, by the way, 
when you and Claude go down-town, you might 
find something or other that hasn't occurred to 
me. Now, for instance, have you balls and bats?" 

" We have an old ball and a couple of bats, sir." 

" Oh, you must do better than that by base-ball ; 
it's the national game. Here are ten dollars, and 
you can buy whatever suits you in that line." 

" I'm almost ashamed to take it, sir." 

" You needn't hold back, Elmwood. It's a 
kindness in you to take such interest in my little 
boy; and it's only just that I should help along. 
Of course, you must keep account of expenses for 
provisions and the like, and I'll pay my quota for 
that too." 

Claude, who had been dancing in and out among 
the chairs, now sprang forward eagerly. 

"Come on, Frank: it's near ten o'clock; let's 
hurry down after those base-balls and hammocks. " 

"If I'm not mistaken, Carroll & Kennedy keep 
open till seven in the evening," said papa; "so if 
you both hurry, you may still get there before the 
store closes." 

Too intent upon his own plans to perceive this 
paternal joke, Claude almost pulled his friend out 
of the room. He was seen a moment later clear- 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 133 

ing the fence at a bound, and heard yelling at the 
top of his voice. 



CHAPTER XV. 

m WHICH CLAUDE AMUSES HIMSELF WITH A BULL. 

MRS. LIGHTFOOT, in the interview touched 
upon in the last chapter, had been anxious 
to learn into what kind of company her little boy 
would be thrown. 

**Oh/' Frank had said, "they're a good set. 
Winter is a little gentleman, and he's a weekly 
communicant. He's a good fellow, even if he is 
a little frisky now and then ; but most boys that I 
know are that way, too. Dockery and Pierson are 
full of fun and life — especially Dockery ; but they 
are both as good as any small boys I know of. 
Then there's Willie Hardy — um- " 

Frank smiled and blushed. 

"What about Willie?" asked Mrs. Lightfoot 

"I didn't want him along; but his mother 
begged me to take him. She's a widow, and, I 
believe, a very pious woman. She just dotes on 
Willie, who's her only child. I guess she has 
spoiled him. He's too young to be bad, but he is 
an infernal — that is he gets a freak occasionally 
and won't tell the truth under anv circumstances." 

"Lying is un-American," observed Mr. Light- 



134 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

foot. He never said anything truer. Lying is 
un-American. Tlie writer of this story when he 
thinks of the true American boy always thinks of 
one whose foremost trait is downright honesty. 
During the whole of this conference, it may be 
remarked, Mr. Lightfoot's hobby appeared at its 
best. "Outing'* is American, and so, too, is base- 
ball. 

" Has Willie Hardy much influence over his 
companions?" pursued Mrs. Lightfoot 

" Influence!'* cried Frank. " They hardly show 
him the common signs of respect. Willie has 
been trying hard to tell the truth this month. I 
threatened not to take him if he didn't stop lying. 
Now he generally stops to think before he answers. 
Whenever he does this, I know he's telling the 
truth. But whenever he answers without hesita- 
tion, I begin to doubt. You see, the boy labors in 
telling the truth, and lies without effort." 

Convinced that Willie could have no evil influr 
ence over Claude, Mrs. Lightfoot turned to othef- 
points, and ended, as we saw in the last chapter, 
by deciding that her son might join the camping 
party. 

The "outing" began most favorably. Frank 
Elmwood had seen to every detail; and to their 
simple comfort nothing was wanting. Much of 
the work fell upon John Winter and Frank; the 
smaller members of the party devoting themselves 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 1 35 

almost exclusively for the first three days to swim- 
ming and to rambles in the woods. 

Claude returned each day with his knee-breeches 
in a condition that called for repairing ; and the 
services of a neighbor had to be invoked to keep 
this indefatigable climber of trees in patches. 
Luckily he had brought four pairs of knicker- 
bockers; and Frank was thinking seriously of 
sending for four more. 

Their camp stood a little back of an arm of 
Lake Vesper, or rather of a separate lake, for it 
was connected with the larger body of water by a 
narrow channel. Some few minutes' walk to the 
west of them was situated the villa belonging 
to Mr. Collins, which commanded a view of the 
greater water. Beyond Mr. Collins' lawn lay a 
great open field, which answered every require- 
ment for base-ball purposes, and, as its margin 
gave an excellent place for bathing, this field was 
a favorite rendezvous of the boys. 

It was here that Claude took his lesson in swim- 
ming. I say lesson, for one was enough. Under 
Frank's direction, he caught the trick of balancing 
himself in the water, and he required no further 
assistance. Far from Claude's ne^ing encour- 
agement, Frank was obliged to keep a close eyo 
on him, as the youngster persisted in going out of 
his depth, and paddled about as though the waters 
t were his natural home. In the water as on shore. 



13^ CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Claude had a certain instinct for anything that 
called for play and flexibility of muscle; and his 
quickness in learning astonished all. 

How Frank contrived to attend to the camp 
and keep track of Claude is a mystery. But he 
was unfailing in his vigilance. 

His only resting-time came when Claude was 
engaged at base-ball or in bed. Then he knew 
that the young scapegrace was safe. 

One morning after their usual swim John and 
Frank, taking it for granted that the little boys 
would, as usual, play *' knock-up** till dinner time, 
departed for the camp to prepare dinner. Archer, 
who was staying at a farm-house, Walter Collins, 
Dockery, Pierson, and Claude took the field, while 
Rob Collins batted them high flies. An unlucky 
hit of Rob's sent the ball into a bit of marshy 
land near the lake, and despite their search, 
they could discover no trace of it. Just as they 
were abandoning the quest, Rob's mother sent 
word that he was needed at the house ; and thus 
it came about that the six small boys were left 
to their own resources. 

" Did any of you see the bull up in Livingstone's 
pasture?" ask^d Archer. 

" Is he a big lellow?" cried Claude. 

"He's a beauty; come on, he's worth seeing." 

"I've got a red handkerchief," said Claude, 
**mjd maybe we'll have a little fun.'* 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. «37 

"You'd better look out," said Walter Collins, 
wko was a quiet, calm, prudent little fellow. He 
never ran blindly into danger, but in it he was as 
courageous as Claude. 

"Come along, Collins," cried Archer, as the 
©rowd started off at a trot up the slope leading 
inland. 

"No, I'll not." 

Now if there was one of these small boys who 
understood Claude it was young Collins ; and un- 
derstanding him as he did, he feared that Claude 
would put himself in danger in order to have 
"fun" with the bull. So, after a moment's 
thought, he set off at a smart run for the camp. 

"I say, Frank," he shouted breathlessly, as he 
came within cry, " the fellows have all gone up to 
take a look at Livingstone's bull, and Claude's got 
a red handkerchief, and says he's going to have 
some fun. " 

Dashing a partially peeled potato to the ground, 
Frank arose, and without waiting to pull off a sort 
of apron that protected his trousers, he set off 
bareheaded and at full speed in the direction of 
Livingstone's field, followed at an ever-increasing 
distance by Walter Collins. At length, arriving 
breathless at the top of a hill which commanded 
a good view, Frank saw a sight which filled him 
with dismay. 

Nearly a quarter of a mile to the west lay a 



rji) CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

pasture-land of twelve or thirteen acres, inclosed 
by a stont, strong fence, some five feet six inches 
high. At the end of the field nearest him, and 
jtast outside the fence stood a group of boys, ap- 
parently in a state of uncontrollable delight. In- 
side the fence stood Claude, hopping and dancing; 
as he flaunted a gay red rag in the breeze ; and 
rushing down from the further end of the pasture 
came Livingstone's bull. Frank stood fixed in 
horror. Nearer and nearer drew the furious 
beast, lashing his tail, and pawing up the ground ; 
while the young scapegrace danced and hopped as 
though the animal bearing down upon him were a 
spring lamb. 

" O Collins, what shall I do?" shouted Frank, 
still staring at the spectacle. 

The bull came straight on, and was within five 
yards of Claude, when the lad suddenly vaulted 
over the fence, and forthwith doubled up, appar^ 
ently with laughter, at the wide-eyed stupid dis. 
comfiture of his pursuer. 

"Thank God! he's safe," exclaimed Frank 
heartily. " But if the little rat had missed his 
hold in vaulting, he might have been gored to 
death. Hallo! What are they up to now?" 

For the boys led by Claude were hurrying 
toward the other end of the field, in such a manner 
as not to attract the attention of his enraged 
majesty. 



1 



CLAUDE LIGNTFOOT. 139 

^ Why, Frank, " cried Walter, *' I do believe he's 
going to try it over again. " 

With an impatient exclamation, Frank broke 
into a run, determined if possible, to put an end 
to this foolhardy bull-baiting. But before he had 
left the hill behind him, the merry-maker below 
had again jumped into the arena. 

"Hi! hi!'* he shouted, waving the rag, and 
dancing in glee. " Hi ! hi ! Come on here with 
your old bull-head. *' 

The beast turned angrily, and awaiting no 
further invitation, gave a bellow, and came raging 
down the field. 

Frank found himself racing against the bull, 
and with very slender prospects of success. As 
the bull got quite near, and Frank came within 
hailing distance, he could contain himself no 
longer. 

"Claude! Claude!'* he cried in agony. This 
^ep was unfortunate; Claude heard his name 
called when the furious beast was nearly upon 
him and looked in the direction whence the call 
proceeded. 

"Lookout, Claude! Look out!'* came a chorus 
of frightened voices from his companions. 

Claude turned to see the bull within a few feet 
of him. Quick as a flash, he put his hand upon 
the top railing of the fence ; but before he could 
clear it. the head of the bull was beneath his feet, 



I40 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT 

and Claude went high, high into the air propelled 
by that strong head, and came down flat on his 
face, but, most fortunately, on the safe side of the 
fence. 

He rose to greet the palest faces he had ever 
seen. But he dispelled their fear by breaking 
into a shout of laughter. 

"Oh, didn't I fool him;'' he exclaimed. "It 
was rich!" 

"Young man," said Frank, hardly able to con- 
trol himself, " do you know that you were within 
an inch of losing your life?'* 

"An inch is as good as a mile,'' retorted Claude 
lightly. And then he became very much aston- 
ished when he saw how grave Frank had become. 

"If there were an asylum for fools," bawled 
Frank indignantly to the whole party, "I'd have 
you all admitted at once." 

"We didn't want Claude to go into that field," 
said Dockery. " But Willie Hardy stumped him 
to do it, and then we couldn't keep him back, — . 
could we. Archer?" 

"Sure," answered Archer. 

" And then when he did get in, and began danc- 
ing around we were pretty nervous the first time, 
but after that " 

"For goodness sake!" broke in Frank, "how 
many times did he jump into that field?" 

**i^Vie last was the fourth time," answered 



CLAUDE LIGNTFOOT. 14* 

Archer. "He hopped over the fence so lightly 
and easily the first time the bull came to him, 
that we thought there wouldn't be any danger. 
But each time he tried it, he let the bull get 
Bearer; and you saw what happened last time." 

"He tore my pants!*' said Claude ruefully; 
"it's my fourth pair." 

" Confound your pants!" said Frank. " Claude, 
as long as you're out here, don't you go near that 
bull again." 

"I won't, Frank; I wouldn't have gone in for 
all the stumps in the world, if I had thought you 
wouldn't like it." 

"Well, I'm blessed!" exclaimed Frank. "So 
you thought I'd have enjoyed it, if I'd been here, 
I suppose." 

"Well, it was great fun," answered Claude, 
Which shows how little sense of personal danger 
Claude had. It was such occurrences as this that 
gave his older friends so much anxiety. The boy 
was honest, and willing to do what was proper; 
but his appreciation of danger was so little that 
he could scarcely be trusted out of sight. 

"Willie Hardy," continued Frank, "if you do 
any more stumping in regard to Claude, I'll send 
you home. " 

" I didn't think he wath thutch a fool," said the 
pretty boy. Frank rewarded this answer with a 
withering glance. But Willie, quite satisfied with 



14« CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

his explanation, was already preparing to astound 
the folks at home with a thrilling account of a 
bnU-fight in which he himself was to figure as the 
hero. 

As the party, somewhat crestfallen, made for 
the camp, gentle Willie ran on ahead, and startled 
the ladies at the Collins' villa with the annatmce- 
ment that Claude had been nearly gored to death 
by a bull. 

The boy had a passion for lying. 

Claude walked, for good reasons, in the rear of 
the procession ; and, after a process of hard think- 
ing, still failed to see why Frank Elmwood was 
so angry. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

IN WHICH CLAUDE TAKES TO POETRY, 

ABOUT ten days after their arrival at their 
camping-gronnds on Lake Vesper, John Win- 
ter remarked to Frank : 

" Haven't yon noticed that Pierson and Dockery 
avoid one another of late?*' 

"Now that you speak of it," said Frank, "it 
strikes me that there is some sort of coolness be- 
tween them. " 

"And another thing, Archer doesn't come near 
our fellows any more." 

"What do you think is the matter, John?" 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 143 

"I can't say: it's worth looking into." 
"Claude/' called Frank, looking np toward the 

"Well," exclaimed Claude, from the outer end 
of a branch twenty-five feet above their heads. 

"Say, you'll break your neck if that branch 
giv@® way. Come down : I want to talk with you. " 

"I'm not going to break my neck, Frank; I'm 
learning a new way of getting off a tree. " 

Before Frank could interpose, Claude, catching 
hold of the very tip of the branch, swung hiirself 
off. The '.»ranch bent beneath his weight and 
brought him several feet nearer ground. Then 
Claude, swinging in the air, cast his eyes about. 
He quickly found what he wanted, for with a 
slight spring he let go his hold, and caught in 
his descent the branch of another tree. There 
was a sharp, crackling sound, the branch snapped, 
and Claude came tumbling to the ground, dodg- 
ing by a miracle, it would appear, the weight and 
force of the broken branch. 

John and Frank looked on in speechless amaze- 
ment. 

" It didn't work as well as I thought it would," 
said Claude in a matter-of-fact way ; " but it was 
worth trying. — I'm sorry about my pants, though: 
there's a tear at the knees again. It isn't such a 
very big one, Frank," added Claude deprecatingly. 

"Pants!" bawled Frank. "It's always pants? 



»44 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Don't you know, sir, that there's such a thing as 
!he tearing of limbs; that pants are a drug in the 
market, but that limbs lost cannot be supplied?*' 

" *But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, 
When once destroyed can never be supplied. "* 

answered Claude, catching at the last words of his 
indignant guardian. 

"That fellow is possessed," exclaimed John 
Winter. "After escaping with his life, he gets 
up and soliloquizes on the state of his breeches, 
and tops that off with a quotation frum the *De-. 
serted Village.' Small boys," continued this 
young gentleman of beardless sixteen, "weren't 
qtdte that bad nor that learned either when I was 
^le of them." 

Frank, paying no heed to these severe reflec- 
tions on times and manners, was busily brushing 
Claude, while that young harum-scarum made a 
playful feint at tickling his guardian. 

" Goodness!" continued John, gazing at the two, 
** if an angel from heaven were to come down and 
assure that young innocent that by rights he ought 
to have a broken leg, the boy would laugh and 
turn the subject off to wings or anything, and 
wouldn't be in the least impressed." 

"Well," said Frank, when he had brought the 
madcap to a respectable appearance, "I suppose 
it's no use scolding you.*' 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 145 

•* What for, Frank?" 

" For the risk you ran, booby." 

" Why, how did I know that that old branch was 
rotten ? I didn ' t run any risk. The branch should 
not have broken. " 

"Yes," said John gravely, "the branch ran the 
risk, and now it's done for. " 

"Now, Claude," continued Frank, dismissing^ 
this last adventure with a little grimace and a 
gesture of hopelessness, "we're going out for a 
row in the sunset, and we want you to come along." 

" May I row?" asked Claude eagerly. 

"Yes; if you behave properly." 

Walking a short distance through the grove and 
across an open field, they came upon the near 
shore of Lake Vesper proper, and jumped into a 
boat which was at Frank's disposal. 

Taking the tiller ropes, Elmwood placed Claude 
at the stern oars, while Winter, keeping stroke 
with Claude, sat near the prow. 

" Now," began Frank, " I want to know, Claude, 
what's the matter with Dockery and Pierson." 

Claude laughed. 

"There's something standing between them," 
he answered. 

"Hold on," cried Winter, dropping his oars to 
pull out a memorandum book and a pencil. " Just 
give me a minutP, to get down that expression. 
It's new to me.** 



146 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Claude, nothing disconcerted, rested his oars, 
while Frank went on : 

"What's — eh — standing between them?'' 

"They're singers,** said Claude. 

" I knew that before yon came to college. " 

"And," continued the bow-oarsman, as he en- 
deavored to feather, " they each sang a solo at the 
last exhibition/* 

"All these things are perfectly new to ns,** ex^ 
claimed Winter. 

Claude had opened his mouth to add further 
e^cplanations, when his crude attempt at feather- 
ing brought him head first into young Winter's 
stomach, his little legs flying about like those of 
a turtle when it is thrown upon its back. 

Then recovering himself with Frank's aid, he 
went on with his story, and received no further 
interruptions from John, who gasped and puffed 
for breath as he pulled away at his oars. 

" Well, the trouble is all about their solo-singing. 
Pierson came to me pretty blue the other day ancj 
said that he'd been told that Dockery said he sang 
with a face on him like a man dying of belly-ache. 
And that same evening Dockery came and told 
me how he had heard that Pierson had said his 
voice sounded like a little girl when she sees a 
rat. He was mad." 

"Well, what happened then?** asked Frank. 

"Nothing; they didn't look at each other aftei 



CLAUDE LTGMTFOOT. 147 

that, and now when one of them wants to borrow 
suspenders or collar buttons or anything from the 
other, why, they come to me ; I act as — as " 

"Go-between," said Frank. 

"There's the Milwaukee boy all over,*' ex^ 
claimed John. "Just as soon as he gets put 
out at a friend, he avoids him, and goes dodging 
around without one word of explanation. It's so 
foolish. And yet I've done it myself, half a dozen 
times. You remember, Frank, the time I didn't 
speak to you for three months?" 

" I should say so. " 

" And it was all on account of your not taking 
any notice of me on the street one day. If I'd 
gone to you like a man, and asked for an explana- 
tion, I could have saved myself from being a fool. 
It was only when you came into class one day with 
a pair of eye-glasses, that I began to see better." 

"I began to see better, too," said Frank Elm- 
wood with a grin. 

"Then," continued John, "I asked Rob Collins 
what was the matter with you ; and he told me 
that you were so near-sighted that you wouldn't 
notice your own mother on the other side of the 
street; and then, Frank, I felt so mean that I 
could have sold myself to the lowest bidder. " 

" But I was just as big a fool as you, " said Frank. 
" I knew that you were offended about something, 
and I knew that I had not willingly given you 



14S CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

any cause for offence ; but I was too proud or too 
babyish to walk up to you like a man, and ask 
you what you were angry about. " 

"Well, that taught me a lesson," continued 
John, " and since then I always act in the man- 
lier fashion of asking an explanation whenever 
there's any appearance of a misunderstanding." 

There ensued a silence ; it was very quiet and 
very beautiful upon the water. The sun threw a 
golden sheen upon the mirror-like face, and above 
the clouds in their courtliest colors floated serene 
in the dying light. 

"This is an hour for poetry," Frank observed. 

"Oh, that reminds me," exclaimed John; 
" Claude, where did you get that quotation you gave 
the last time you didn't succeed in breaking your 
neck?" 

"I learnt it by heart. I know the * Traveller' 
too, and a lot of Goldsmith's." 

"What! ^oyou read poetry?" 

"No, John; I don't think I ever read a dozen 
lines in my life. " 

" Well, how in the world do you know whole 
poems by heart?" 

Claude laughed. 

" Kate has read to me out of lots of poetry books. 
Whenever I like a piece, I get her to read it several 
times, and then I remember," said Claude simply. 

•* Do you know any besides Goldsmith's poems?'* 



CLAUDE LIGNTFOOT, 14^ 



«< 



Sure ! I know the * May Queen, ' and the * Charge 
of the Light Brigade,' and *We are Seven,' and 
*St. Agnes' Eve,' and *Ode on Intimations of Im- 
mortality, ' and all of 'Evangeline,' and the * Death 
of the Flowers,' and * Autumn,' and 'Drifting/ 
and " 

"Stop, stop!" cried Frank. "John, we've got 
an Anthology with us, and we didn't know it. 
H^re, Claude, you take the tiller and I'll row. 

"Now," he added, when the change had been 
effected, "give us the poem you like best." 

Claude threw back his head, closed his eyes, 
opened them again, and then with a smile began: 

" * My soul to-day 

Is far away 
Sailing the Vesuvian bay. 

My winged boat, 
A bird afloat, 

Swims round the purple peaks remote. ' " 

On he went from stanza to stanza, this harum- 
scarum, throwing his whole soul into the pretty 
word-painting of Reid's exquisite poem. 

It is true he failed to bring out the dreaminess 
and languor of the lines ; but he infused, in lieu 
of these, a radiancy of happiness and a brightness 
of life and energy which were more congenial to 
his age and disposition. 

"Excellent!" exclaimed Frank as the minstrel 
came to a pause. " Now suppose you give us the 
* May Queen.'" 



ISO CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

As the boat glided slowly past Vesper Island 
and rounded it, Claude in his cheery voice began 
the poem. He was fully equal to the gayety and 
prattle of the first part, but as he came to the 
sadder portions his interest flagged ; and his eyes 
roved restlessly about among the water-lilies on 
the eastern side of the island. He came finally 
to the last two verses : 

***To lie within liie ligkt of God, as I lie upon your breast, 
And the wi(^©d cease from troubling, and the weary—'" 

Here, just within three words of the sublime 
conclusion, Claude, dropping the tiller, reached 
over, and made a snatch at a tempting water-lily. 
There was a splash, a movement, and the min- 
strel neither weary nor restful lay floundering in 
the shallow water, still grasping the lily. 

They pulled him in without difficulty, and Frank 
uttered some sharp comments. 

" Well, I got that lily anyhow,'' was the answer. 

There was nothing for it now but to return to 
camp with all speed, to look up more clothes for 
the poetical madcap. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, I5I 



CHAPTER XVII. 

IN' WHICH IS GIVEN AN ACCOUNT OF A NOVEL FISHING 

EXPEDITION 

THAT evening Frank called Charlie Pierson 
and Dan Dockery into the tent; and he 
noticed with suppressed amusement how carefully 
the two guarded against meeting each other's eyes. 

" Charlie, did you ever say that Dan sang like a 
little girl screaming when she sees a rat?'* 

" No, sir," exclaimed Charlie indignantly. 

" And, Dan, did you say that Charlie when he 
sang looked like a man dying of colic?** 

" I never said anything like it. I could listen 
to Charlie singing all day. " 

"And I," put in Charlie, "like Dan's singing 
best of all the singing I've heard yet." 

" Now, don't you two feel foolish? Here you've 
been dodging each other and sulking, just because 
somebody's been lying." 

"Well, I declare!" exclaimed Charlie, "I ought 
to know Willie Hardy by this time." 

" Me, too," said Dan. 

Then their eyes met, and with one impulse they 
grasped hands. 

"I'm a mule, Charlie," said Dan. 

"I'm another, onlv worse," said Chariia 



IS 2 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

"You're both a pair of ninnies," added tn^ can 
did Frank. ** It is worth your while learning now 
that people will talk and carry tales But no 
matter what you hear, no matter if what they say 
seem true or not, don't allow tale-bearing to break 
up a long friendship. Life is very short, and 
friends are not as plentiful as blackberries. Stick 
to your friends through good and evil report." 

Then Frank departed; whereupon Dan and 
Charlie emptied Master Hardy's bottle of cologne 
and filled it with coal-oil. They then slipped a 
few burrs between his sheets, and having tied his 
prettiest shirt into a number of knots, they de- 
parted arm in arm, at peace with themselves and 
all the world. 

Willie in the mean time was elaborately protest- 
ing to Elmwood that " it wath all a joke." 

For all that, he did not seem prepared for re- 
prisals. When he went into the tent a few minutes 
later, and poured a few drops out of his cologne 
bottle upon his pink ears, he uttered an exclama- 
tion, his perennial smile vanished, and he dashed 
out into the open air. 

Dan and Charlie were awaiting his appearance 
with impatience; but they looked very composed 
and indifferent as he approached. 

"Who wath uthing my cologne?" he asked. 

For answer Dan put his handkerchief to his 
nose. 



CLAUDE LIGMTFOOT. 153 

** Pheugh !*' he said and ran away. 

"Wath it you?*' continued Willie, fixing an 
angr)^ eye on Charlie. 

"Pheugh," cried Charlie, following his com- 
panion. 

And these two friends, once they were out of 
sight and hearing, laughed till the tears rolled 
down their cheeks. 

The tears came to Hardy's eyes for other rea^ 
sons, as he went off in search of Frank. 

"Frank," he cried, ''Dan and Charlie have 
tholen two bottleth of my cologne." 

" It wath a joke," said Frank, taking no account 
of the extra bottle which Willie had thrown in. 

Frank, on further investigation, discovered that 
Willie had told Harry Archer some remarkable 
things about the way in which that estimable 
young gentleman was spoken of at the camp. 
Archer, after an interview with Frank, came over 
and shook hands all around. When he reached 
Willie, he took a firm grip of that youngster's 
hand and squeezed it till Willie danced. 

"Thtop, Harry, thtop; it wath a joke." 

"So wath this," mimicked Harry, squeezing 
much motion into his jocose little friend. 

As a result of all this, Willie found himself an 
unwelcome companion to all except Claude, who 
regarded him as an amusing curiosity. 

To cement the new ties, Frank proposed a great 



154 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

fishing expedition for Thursday afternoon. " We'll 
hire two boats from the hotel," he said. "And 
I'll get fifty or sixty minnows. John Winter can 
take charge of one boat, and I'll take the other. 
We'll get Rob Collins and his brother to come 
along, and we'll have a rousing time." 

" Is Hardy to come along?" asked Charlie Pier- 
son. 

"Of course; he's to supply ns with fishing 
stories. " 

It was a mirthful party that set forth on the 
following afternoon from Mr. Collins' boat-house. 

As the boats moved out from the little bay, and 
turned in a southwesterly direction toward " Buck 
Island," Charlie and Dan, who were seated beside 
each other, and who, by way of compensation for 
their falling out, had practised singing together 
for several hours of the preceding night, softly at 
first but louder and clearer, as they saw that the 
crew of the other boat were straining their ears, 
sang a duet called " Whispering Hope. " It is a 
beautiful, tender song, one of those penetrating 
melodies that reaches the heart. Presently Frank 
made a sign, the rowers rested on their oars, and 
midway between Buck and Vesper Islands the two 
friends, hand in hand, trilled forth the beautiful 
strains in an elevation bom of the hour, the place, 
and their newly cemented friendship. 

Vocal music 4j;ains a new charm upon the water; 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 15$ 

and when such notes, golden and liquid, are 
wafted over the ripples as came from the throats 
of Charlie and Dan — one the leading soprano and 
the other the solo alto voice of Milwaukee College 
— the effect is indescribably beautiful. 

At the end of the duet, the two singers were 
startled by hearing the clapping of many hands 
from the direction of Vesper Island, and turning 
they saw a group of young Seminarians standing 
on the eminence in front of their summer villa, 
and forming an appreciative though unlooked-for 
audience. 

"Give them another song,*' said Frank. 

"We are not ready," answered Charlie. "Oh, 
that's a fact!" he added quickly; "let Walter 
come into our boat, and we'll sing a trio." 

The change was effected in a trice, and preaently 
they carolled the gay notes of Shakespeare's 

" Under the greenwood tree, 
Who loves to lie with me, 

And tune his merry note 

Unto the sweet bird's throat? 
Come hither, come hither, come hither. 

Here shall he see 

No enemy 
But winter and rough weather, 
But winter and rough weather. " 

During the lively movement of this pastoral, 
Claude jumped to his feet, and would have danced, 
had not Rob Collins reached over and, catching- 



IS6 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

the lively lad's head in the landing-net, brought 
him tumbling into Willie's arms. 

"I'll thing, too, Frank,*' volunteered Willie. 

" What ! Can you sing?" 

^*Sure." 

'^ He belonged to our choir at the college,*' ex- 
plained Dockery ; " but he was put out for cutting 
up in the chapel. " 

"I didn't cut up. I wath thaying my prayerth 
out loud, and the choir director thought I wath 
talking." 

"That's a whopper," said Walter. 

"Well go on and sing," said Frank, brusquely. 

With folded hands, and eyes modestly veiled, 
Willie opened his pretty mouth and, in a voice 
marvellously sweet and accurate, sang "Sweet 
Spirit, Hear my Prayer. " 

"Good gracious!" whispered Winter, " he sings 
like an angel." 

"Yes," answered Rob Collins, "and what's 
more, he looks like an angel. " 

"One would think butter wouldn't melt in his 
mouth," commented Elmwood ; and added, "He's 
the greatest fraud on the face of the earth. If he 
were the one-millionth part as good as he looks or 
sounds, he'd be the best fellow in the crowd." 

All of which goes to prove that fine feathers do 
not make fine birds. 

Much as they despised him, the boys broke into 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, IS7 

applause at the conclusion of Willie's song, while 
the sweet singer looked ineflEably pretty and de- 
mure. 

Then they resumed their oars and, pulling with 
an equal stroke, shortly cast anchor near a point 
of land on the further shore south of Buck Island. 

"Some of the minnows are pretty small," Frank 
remarked, as he put his two hands into the min- 
now bucket and scooped out three tiny " shiners/' 

"That's all right," said Rob Collins. "The 
small minnows for the small boys." 

"Aren't you smart!" exclaimed his brother. 
" It doesn't take size to make a fisherman. When 
it comes to fishing, I can give you points. " 

Then each of the small boys had a word to say. 

Frank quelled the rising storm by putting the 
smallest minnow on his own hook, and giving the 
larger ones to Claude and Dan. 

"What we want is fish," said Frank. "Of 
course, if all use big minnows, we'll very likely 
catch nothing, or only a few large fish, but if — — " 

Frank finished by pulling in a fat perch. 

"Give me a little minnie, too," cried Claude. 

"Me too," echoed Dan. 

"Use what you've got," said Frank, adjusting 
his minnow, and throwing out again. 

All who baited with small minnows were kept 
quite busy pulling in the nibbling perch; while 
Claude and Dan and Walter Collins sat quietly 



IS^ CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 

watching their hand-lines, which they had cast 
some forty feet toward the point. 

" I*m getting tired of this fishing," said Claude, 
jumping to his feet, and giving the boat a lurch 
which nearly threw him into the water. 

" Down in the boat," said Frank sharply. 

Claude obeyed, and it was lucky he had been so 
prompt, for there was a jerk at his line, and he 
grasped it just in time to save its being carried 
away. 

"Whoop!" he bawled, "there's no perch about 
this; he's pulling like a billy-goat. Get the land' 
ing-net, quick." 

Hand over hand he brought his line in, and his 
eyes lighted up as he noticed a great commotion 
in the waters. 

"Did you see its tail?" he shouted. "Don't 
talk to me about your small minnows. It's a 
black bass." 

" Pshaw!" growled Elmwood, as he brought the 
net under the fish, " it's only a dog-fish. They're 
no good." 

"But they're big!'' said Claude. "Give me 
another big minnie. " 

Claude was now well content. 

Walter, who had resumed his place in the other 
boat, now brought in a three-pound pickerel ; and 
so excited were all over the catch that they failed 
to notice the coming of a boat, which was manned 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 159 

by four lads, the oldest of whom could not be more 
than seventeen, and which anchored fifty yards 
north of them. 

"Sh!*' whispered Frank as the din grew louder; 
"we can't expect to catch fish in all this noise/' 

"Sh — sh,*' passed from lip to lip; and making 
fresh casts all lapsed into solemn silence. 

Smiling Willie was the first to notice the pres- 
ence of the new fishing party. 

" I wonder who thothe fellowth are?'* he inquired 
in tones that could be heard from their fishing 
grounds at least as far as Buck Island. 

"Well, that's cheeky," came in tones no less 
clear from the older boy in the boat, a bright, 
handsome lad with a fine presence and a clear 
eye. 

"I guess they're from Chicago," observed Rob 
Collins wickedly. "But I'm not sure, for I can't 
see their feet. " 

"If those fellows," observed another of the 
strangers, "didn't have their hats on we could 
tell, by the presence or absence of hayseed in their 
hair, whether they come from Milwaukee or from 
some civilized part of the world." 

Rob Collins, Elm wood, and Winter were obliged 
to turn their heads to conceal their laughter. The 
boyish retort was good. 

" I wonder whether those fellows intend fishing 
with hooks, or do they expect the fish to jump into 



i6o CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

their boat?" This was Dockery's contribution to 
the conversation. 

"Those fellows/' observed the third strange 
boy, "don't seem to be catching anything. 
There's a young man in their boat with specta- 
cles. Now if we were to throw an idea out, he 
might catch that, at least." 

"I'm afraid," said Frank, "that if the young 
persons in that boat throw out any ideas their 
boat won't be very much lighter." 

"And besides," added Collins, "they'll go into 
intellectual bankruptcy." 

The strangers broke into a laugh. Evidently 
they were a good-natured set. 

"Rob," whispered Frank, "they have given me 
an idea. Get me that pickerel of Walter's quietly, 
so that those fellows won't notice. Pass round the 
word for our crowd not to give my joke away, 
and we'll have some fun." 

Then the roguish Frank slyly fitted the pick- 
erel on his own hook, and allowed him to swina 
away. 

" Hey, fellows !" he then shouted, " get the land* 
ing-net; I've got a splendid fish." 

While the strangers looked on in unconcealed 
interest, Frank landed his fish amidst great artifi- 
cial enthusiasm. 

"It's the size of the one Claude caught," said 
Dockery aloud. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. l6l 

" That ith the fifth pickerel we've caught in five 
minuth," shouted the veracious Willie. 

" If you spoil our little joke by any more of your 
injudicious lying," snapped Rob, "we'll put you 
out on a hook till you're soaked. The less you 
say, the better we'll get along." 

" It wath a joke," simpered Willie. 

"Joke!" snarled Rob. "You couldn't tell a 
joke from a jumping-jack to save your worthless 
little soul." 

In speaking to Willie, the boys, as the reader 
may have noticed, were unsparing in their words. 
But his lying had brought him into contempt not 
wholly undeserved, and besides his feelings were 
not easily hurt. 

" Now, Rob, you take a turn in hauling him in," 
said Frank. " We can let Winter catch him next, 
and by that time our fish will be played out." 

"Gracious!" exclaimed the eldest of the out- 
siders, when Rob had landed the pickerel, " those 
fellows are catching big fish right along." 

" Yes, " added one of his companions ; " and they 
are all of the same size, too. " 

Whereupon our party had great difficulty in re- 
straining themselves from a burst of laughter, 
which would have put their neighbors upon the 
scent 

While Winter was making the fourth catch of 

this most serviceable pickerel, Rob Collins to his 
u 



t62 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

great joy discovered a big fish straining at his line. 
Two landing-nets were brought into requisition, 
and while John recovered the poor pickerel, Rob 
landed a insty fonr-pound black bass. 

"Oh! this is glorious!" whispered Prank. 
' Now we'll go to work, and catch that black bass 
three times more. Those Chicago folks will re- 
spect ns before we're through.'* 

"I say," said one of the strangers, "what do 
you people bait your hooks with?" 

"Shoe-buckles!" roared Dockery. 

Frank gave Dockery a stern look. The ques- 
tion was a civil one, and Frank was pained at 
Dockery 's rudeness. 

"We're using 'shiners,'" Frank answered 
affably. 

"So are we in this boat; but we've only had 
one bite so far, and the fish got awaj^" 

The conversation was now interrupted by 
Claude's crying, "Hi! hi! Fve got a monster!" 

Then with the same energetic ceremonies they 
landed the black bass for the third time. 

'*The reason we're succeeding so well," said 
Frank courteously, "is because we've discovered 
anew way of fishing. It's a secret yet; but if 
you fellows would like to know it, call over at our 
camp at the further end of Linnet Pond to-mor- 
row, and we'll tell you, besides giving you a share 
of the fish.' 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 163 

"Thank you," returned the spokesman. 

" I'll bet this fish is as large as any we've caught 
yet/' cried Pierson, pulling in his line. "Hurry 
up with that landing-net before he gets away." 

"Why, it's the same size," exclaimed one of the 
strangers. " A while ago you fellows were haul- 
ing in pickerel, and now it's nothing but black 
bass. " 

" Black bass move in shoals, maybe," explained 
Frank. 

" How many did you catch?" 

" We caught one pickerel just before you came," 
answered Frank evasively, "and you've seen what 
we've been doing since." 

" That makes four pickerel and four black bass," 
said the stranger. " But how about the five pick- 
erel you caught in fifteen minutes?" 

"The fellow that said that is — ^is injudicious," 
answered Frank. 

At which very momaat the injudicious fellow 
began pulling in, and brought to the gunwale of 
the boat a fine wall-eyed pike over five pounds in 
weight. 

" Now," whispered Dockery, "we can work this 
pike on them." 

" I guess not," answered Frank. " They might 
begin to see where the hole in the millstone is. " 

" When I wath here latht year," asserted Willie, 
in ringing tones, " I caught a pike like thith with 



x64 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

a five-thent fishing-line, and he weighed thirty, 
five pounds and a half." 

" That's the stupidest lie you've told since you 
could talk,*' growled Pierson. 

"W^illie saw that no one believed him. 

" He wath very heavy anyhow, and he knocked 
me down with one flap of hith tail." 

"Boys," said Frank, "let's make for home or 
this boat will be struck by lightning. " 



CHAPTER XVHI. 

IN WHICH CLAUDE GIVES AN EXHIBITION IN DIVING, 
AND IS TAKEN PRISONER. 

ON the following morning, nothing would sat- 
isfy Claude and Willie but to go fishing 
again. 

"I wouldn't trust you two in a boat for the 
world," said Frank. 

"But, Frank, we don't need a boat," argued 
Claude : " Willie and I know a spot beyond Buck 
Island where it's deep near shore, and we can 
walk there, and fish without any boat." 

"Will you be sure to take good care of your- 
selves?" 

" Oh, of course," said Claude lightly. 

What idea Claude had of the meaning of "to 
take care of himself " it is impossible for me to say. 

So the two set bravely forth, established them- 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 165 

selves on the bank, and after two hours had secured 
nothing to reward their efforts. 

"Hello!** exclaimed Willie, "here cometh the 
thame crowd that wath fishing yesterday." 

" They won't have worse luck than we've had," 
observed Claude. " Say, let's take a swim." 

"All right," assented Willie; and throwing 
their lines on the bank, the two undressed, and 
were soon disporting in the water. 

"Look where they're anchored," cried Willie 
presently. 

Claude looked, and sounding a note of triumph 
ran out of the water, and with nothing on but his 
swimming tights disappeared among the trees. 
Willie, wondering what would happen next, pro- 
ceeded to put on his clothes. 

The young men in the boat had chosen for their 
fishing-grounds a deep place very close to land. 
They were anchored in the shadow of a huge tree, 
which inclined toward the waters at a sharp angle 
in such wise that its outer branches reached out 
almost over their heads. 

" I hope we'll have better luck than we had last 
evening," said Cleary, the leader of the party. 

" It can't be worse," commented Allen. 

" I suggest, to begin with, that we all keep per- 
fectly quiet," growled Graham. 

"That's business," put in Reilly, the last of the 
party. 



l66 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Then they cast in silence, and waited patiently. 
And their patience was soon rewarded: Allen 
landed a fine Oswego bass within five minutes. 

"Didn't you hear a strange noise just now?" 
whispered Allen a moment later. 

"Where?" asked Graham. 

" Up in that tree. " 

At the word there was a vigorous: "Hi? hi! 
Whoop!" and straight as an arrow there flashed 
before their astounded eyes a white form, that 
with hands clasped before the head came shooting 
from the tree almost directly over their boat into 
the water with a great splash. 

**Well, that beats Chicago!" exclaimed Cleary. 

Claude bobbed up smiling. 

"What's your luck?" he exclaimed, lying on his 
back and kicking his feet so as to splash the party. 

" Get away from here, you little beggar," bawled 
Graham. "You're spoiling our fishing." 

"Oh, you needn't mind me," said Claude, strik- 
ing for the shore, "I'm only going to take a few 
more dives off that tree." 

And Claude without delay began climbing the 
tree with an agility which certainly astonished 
the discomfited fishermen. 

" I never saw such cheek," said Allen. 

"It's monumental," added Graham. 

"So's his climbing; he's up that tree already. 
Tfiae's a cat or a. monkey." 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. iSj 

"Hi! hi!" screamed Claude, springing into the 
air and flashing before their eyes. 

"Really, boys, it paralyzes one — such coolness 
as that,*' said Allen "Talk about Chicago! If 
that fellow cares about coming to live in our city, 
he'll own it before he comes of age. But what 
an athlete he is ! If I were to try to dive from 
that branch as he does, I'd die of fright even if 
I didn't get hurt otherwise." 

"That's all very well," growled Cleary rubbing 
away the water which Claude had just splashed 
into his eyes, "but we four don't intend to be 
made fools of by one small boy. There he goes 
to shore now, and he'll climb that tree again, and 
drop on us like a bolt from the blue. Just as soon 
as he reaches the branch, I'll lift the anchor 
quietly, and when he dives you fellows have the 
oars ready, and we'll capture him, and bring him 
back to the menagerie he escaped from. " 

When Claude emerged from the water after his 
third dive, he saw the oarsmen putting their oars 
in the rowlocks, and at once made for the shore 
with a strong overhand stroke. But before he 
cotild reach the land the firm hand of Allen was 
about his neck ; and after a succession of writhings 
and kickings and stragglings, which inspired 
Allen with high respect for Claude's strength and 
energy, the audacious diver was a captive. 

"Now. youngster," began Cleary, as he brought 



i68 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 



the wriggler into the boat, "where are your 
clothes?" 

"Down there," said Claude, pointing toward 
gentle Willie, who, with staring eyes, was taking 
in the plight of his companion. Claude as he 
spoke gave a fresh wriggle, and nearly succeeded 
in getting over the side of the boat. 

" Did any of you fellows ever catch eels?" asked 
Cleary. 

" I've caught them often," said Reilly. 

" Well, come down here, and hold this fellow. 
He*s worse than any eel." 

"I give up," said Claude in his matter-of-fact 
way, "till you bring me my clothes." 

Cleary looked into his eyes. "I believe you,'* 
he said, and releasing his hold, he turned the boat 
toward the spot where stood Master Willie, where- 
upon that faithful friend took to his heels, only 
stopping at the house of Mr. Collins to state 
that Claude had been half-drowned by a lot of 
roughs, and that they were now about to tar and 
feather him. Then he made on to tell Elm- 
wood how Claude, when he last saw him, had 
been screaming " Help ! Murder!" at the top of 
his voice. 

On reaching shore, Claude hurried into his 
clothes, which he had left at the foot of a tree. 
Bending down he finally put on his stockings, 
then with a leap he caught one of the branches 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 169 

and swung himself tip out of reach before a single 
one of his guards could reach him. 

" Do you intend to wait?*' he inquired, grinning 
down at them. 

Cleary looked at Graham, then both burst into 
a roar of laughter. 

"Young one," said Cleary, "we surrender." 

Claude laughed. 

" Let's all be friends," he said. 

" That's a bargain. Tell us who you are." 

"I'm Claude Lightfoot from Milwaukee, and I 
goto Milwaukee College." Claude as he spoke 
leaped easily to the ground. 

" Did you get all your cheek there?" 

"No: I brought that along. Here, shake 
hands." 

And Claude saluted each one in the Americas 
way with great gravity. 

"I want to say one thing, Lightfoot," said 
Cleary. " This thing has turned out well for you. 
But it's a dangerous thing sometimes for small 
boys to take such liberties as you have taken. 
You might have fallen upon a hard crowd, and 
they would have injured you." 

Claude was puzzled. The little fellow, beyond 
the cruel experience he had had with Worden, 
knew nothing of the world or its wickedness. His 
life had been cast in an atmosphere of innocence, 
and the readings Katie had selected for him were 



I70 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

all of lofty ideals aad noble deeds. The term 
" bad compaay" and its danger had no real mean- 
ing for him. He knew his own fanlts, failings, 
and sins; he did not realize that others were far 
worse than himself. As regards Willie Hardy, 
he had first been staggered ; but had finally come 
to the conclusion that as soon as Willie opened his 
month to speak, he ceased to be responsible. The 
world took on roseate hnes to this happy-go- 
lucky. 

It transpired in the course of the conversation 
that the four Chicago boys were attending a Catho- 
lic college of that city; and Claude had quite in- 
gratiated himself into their favor, when behold! 
with base-ball bats and walking-canes, and the 
heaviest joint of a fishing-pole, Frank, John, Rob 
Collins, Pierson, and Dockery came racing down 
upon them. 

"Hallo!" cried Frank^ checking himself sud- 
denly, " I thought we were on a scalping tour, 
and it looks more like smoking the pipe of peace. 
Where are the tar and feathers!" 

^' Dti Jmmortales /'* shouted Rob, "that young 
perfume-box has undone us again. I thought he 
was telling the truth this time, for when he spoke 
to me the tears were standing in his eyes. " 

" When we get back, we'll tar and feather him," 
said Frank. "Claude, who are your friends?" 

Bats and fish-poles and walkinsr-sticks were 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. I? I 

thrown aside, and the rival parties were soon on 
the most friendly footing. 

"I hope we didn't offend you by our conduct 
last evening/* said Frank. 

"Not at all/* answered Reilly, "ws began the 
chaflSng ourselves." 

"No, you didn't," said Rob. "That wretched 
little perfume-box began it all. " 

"Yes," assented Frank, "and when one of you 
made some remark about our cheek, we had to 
keep it up. But now you must come over, and 
help us out with our fish. " 

"That's a fact," said Graham, "you fellows 
can't begin to eat eight big fish." 

Whereupon there was a roar, and as the party 
moved toward camp, Frank explained his secret. 

"Well, that's one on Chicago," said Reilly. 

Willie, all smiles and bows, was awaiting them. 
I dare not chronicle the animadversions which his 
companions passed upon him. But Willie's cheeks 
lost not their color nor his eyes their brightness, 
as be responded over and over, " It wath a joke." 

CHAPTER XIX. 

IN WHICH KA TE BRINGS CLA UDE JOYFUL NEWS, 

ON Saturday at noon Rob Collins presented 
himself at the tent with two letters which 
he had brought from the village that morning. 
One was for Claude, the other for Willie. 



172 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Claude ran his eye over the note, then jumped 
iato the air, and knocked his heels together three 
times ; after which he turned a back-handspring. 

"Kate's coming out this afternoon, and she's 
going to stay over Sunday with Mrs. Collins. " 

On making this announcement he twirled about, 
atid spun himself round and round, till he fell 
through dizziness. 

Willie, meantime, was spelling out a card which 
he had taken from its envelope. 

"What ith this word, Frank?" he asked, going 
over to Elmwood. 

Frank took the card, ran his eyes over it, and 
then laughed so heartily as to bring the whole 
crowd to his side. 

"Listen, boys," he said, "it's too good: 



MANIAS, ^ 
LECTOR. > 
, l88— J 



"* Sodality of Ananias, 
Office of the Irreverend Director. 

July. 

*** Brother William Hardy: At a yearly handing in of 
reports it was discovered that you were equipped above all 
Milwaukee boys for beating the record of Ananias ; where- 
upon you were honorably elected a member of the Ananias 
Company, with the privilege of having your statements 
of a more interesting character printed at our office for 

nothing. Yours, 

***It*s an Actual Fact."* 

Willie looked puzzled. 
"Who wath Ananias, Frank?" 
" He was a man who died very suddenly, my 
young friend, when he was making the same kind 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 173 

©f an endeavor as yon generally make to tell the 
truth." 

Willie asked a great many questions, and on 
the whole seemed to be flattered by the notice 
taken of him by the Ananias Society. 

" It's no use trying to play a joke on him," said 
Dockery in an aside to Pierson. '* I lost half an 
hour writing that note." 

"Not that kind of a joke anyhow," returned 
Charlie. " I really believe if a society of liars did 
exist, Willie would pay hard money to become a 
member. " 

This statement reached Willie's ears. He 
smiled sweetly, and surveyed himself in his pocket 
looking-glass. 

I dare not attempt to describe the joyful meet- 
ing between Kate and Claude at the station that 
afternoon; what love beamed in their faces as, 
after the first salutation, they gazed long and 
earnestly into each other's innocent eyes. 

I have said that Claude was in the habit of 
going to bed with the sun. On this day he de- 
parted from his custom ; and the silver spray fell 
from his bar as he rowed Kate about the lake, 
upon whose bosom rested the witchery of the 
moonlight. 

Claude had much to tell that evening of his 
"tumbles and childish escapes;" and he had a 
sympathetic listener. He related to Kate several 



174 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

things that I have not ventured to set down. 
Claude's temper had got the better of him several 
times, and I have not had the heart to picture him 
to his worst moments. 

Kate, in her turn, had much to tell. Best of 
ftll, she brought word from their father that 
Claude was to make his First Communion on the 
coming fifteenth of August. 

A great joy came over Claude's face at the an- 
nouncement, which suddenly changed to an ex- 
pression of fear. 

"Oh, Kate! It seems so near; and Fve been 
forgetting." 

"It's not a bit too near, Claude," said Kate 
firmly. " You need the grace of the Sacrament to 
strengthen you. If you do your best, God will do 
the rest." 

And then to inspire confidence into her brother, 
she went on to tell him how St Francis de Sales, 
one of the sweetest characters of history, had nat- 
urally been of high temper ; yet, aided by grace, 
had come to a reach of meekne:^ that was almost 
unbelievable. 

It was near midnight when Kate and Claude 
before parting for the night knelt together in the 
house of Mr. Collins, and with a new fervor said 
their night prayers, not forgetting to petition God 
most earnestly to dispose the little heart for tha 
great day. 



CLAUDE LIGNTFOOT. 1 75 

Btat Claude and Kate did not know the future. 
The fifteenth of August was not the time that 
God had appointed. 

CHAPTER XX. 

FATHER BARRY'S STORY. 

"P^AY, Father Barry, it*s pretty hard to prov^ 

v3 ^^^^ there's a personal devil, isn't it?'* 

Such was the remark made by Rob Collins to 
Father Barry, an old and intimate friend of Rob's 
father, and now on a week's visit at Mr. Collins 
villa. Father Barry was a priest fairly advanced 
In middle life, and, if appearances go for any- 
thing, a genial, whole-souled gentleman. He wa# 
sitting on the portico facing the lake, and watch- 
ing the waters dancing in a golden and purple 
glow to the tender touch of the evening breeee. 

At the question, the priest smiled, shifted his 
portion in his chair, and said : 

" That reminds me of a story " 

BdFore he could finish his sentence, Rob gave 
a whoop. 

"Hey, fellows," he shouted, "Father Barry's 
^ing to tell us a story." 

Very close to the edge of the lake where tha 
sloping lawn merged into the level beach, th© 
smaller boys were engaged in the exhilarating 
g^ame of Bom Bav. while Elmwood and Winter 



176 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Stood chatting beside them. When the word story 
smote their ears, Charlie Pierson, just in the act of 
clearing the pyramid of hats piled upon the 
patient back of Dockery, who happened to be 
"down," lost control of himself, and alighted 
squarely upon Dan's back, in such wise that hats 
and boys came tumbling unceremoniously to the 
earth. When the two arose, they were alone, for 
the others had already scampered up the grassy 
slope and were now grouping themselves, not 
without much pushing and squeezing, about his 
reverence. Before they had quite settled this 
question of precedence, the two tumblers, breath- 
less and panting, made their presence known by 
their elbows; while Father Barry, flattered no 
doubt by the effects of the magnetism that had 
gone out from him, sat back in his chair and 
smiled. It was a captivating smile— and very 
patient. 

" Is it a ghost-story, Father?" queried Harry 
Archer. 

" It's better than that," broke in Rob. " It's a 
devil story. " 

"Go on," "Go ahead," "Oh, Father, please " 

A litany of entreaties was at once directed at his 
smiling reverence. 

"To begin with," said Father Barry, "I never 
told this story to any one before/' 

He paused. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 177 

* Oh, go on, Father, " cried the chorus. 

"In the second place, there's not a single man 
on the face of the earth knows it except myself." 

" Is it truer" asked Willie Hardy earnestly. 

"Yes: every word of it. I*ve been aching to 
tell this story for years ; and yet, up to last week, 
I couldn't make up my mind to do so. But now I 
think that it can be told safely and completely. 

"Well, some fifteen years ago, I was ordained 
priest. Dear me! I was a handsome fellow then." 

Father Barry paused, and there was a humorous 
twinkle in his eye. 

"You must have changed awfully since that 
time, Father," observed Rob demurely. 

"Oh, go on, Father," put in Dan Dockery, "we 
don't care how handsome you were then: you're 
as handsome now as you've any right to be." 

"Well, after being ordained, I went home to 
spend a week with my parents, and to say Mass at 
the church I had attended as a boy. I wasn't idle 
during that weeK, I assure you. On leaving my 
home, I was to take the position assigned me by 
my bishop in a country parish in — well, no matter 
where ; it was in one of the Eastern States, and if 
I were to name it you Western boys wouldn't 
know where it was anyhow." 

"Oh — ah!" came the derisive comment. 

" I was saying that I wasn't idle, when you boys 
interrupted me with your sarcastic interjections. 



178 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

You see, I would have to hear confessions jiist 
as soon as I reached my parish, and I was bnsy 
reviewing my Moral Theology. " 

"Moral theology!" echoed Harry Collins. 
"What^sthat?" 

"It's a new patented bicycle," snarled Rob. 
"Why can't yon let Father Barry go on?'* 

"Moral theology," resumed the priest affably, 
"is a treatise on the way to hear confessions. 
Just as a lawyer must take a course of law before 
he can go into a law-court, so a priest must take a 
course of Moral, so as to know how to deal with, 
how to guide those who come to him as penitents: 
and I can assure you, my boys, that it's a very 
serious matter. So, then, I reviewed my Moral 
carefully ; and then on the first Friday morning in 
the month of August, I took the train that was to 
bring me to my new field of labors. I put my 
valise beside me on the seat as the train started 
off, took out my breviary, examined my pocket to 
make sure that my faculties were there- •" 

"Most people carry their faculties in their 
heads," observed Rob, who would risk his life tq 
perpetrate a pun. 

"Shi" exclaimed Harry and Walter, happily 
too tender in their years and development to relish 
the villanies of a play upon words. 

"When I spoke of my faculties, " pursued the 
unruffled narrator, " I did not refer to those which 



CLAUDE LlGlfTFOOT. 1 79 

flow from the soul, but from my bishop. Facul- 
ties, my children, is a term used in sacerdotal 
circles " 

"Whew!" Harry and James interpolated. 

" Meaning the permission and right to hear con- 
fessions. Only the bishop may give faculties, and 
without them a priest is only a mass-priest." 

" Hasn't every priest the power to hear confes- 
sions by virtue of his ordination?" queried John 
Winter. 

" Ye^, he has ih^ powtr^ but not the e:)eerme of it. 
Just as a man with a hundred dollars in the bank 
at interest has the ownership, but not the use of 
the money. But that's nothing to do with my 
story. Well, as I was saying, I made sure that I 
had my faculties, then opening my breviary, I 
said my little hours." 

"What's " began Willie Hardy. 

"Oh, say," growled John Winter, "I propose 
that we head off all this questioning. Rob, l©t's 
you and me be a vigilance committee. Now the 
first fellow that interrupts Father Barry agaia 
will be run ofif the premises. Go on. Father." 

" Umph !" growled Harry and Walter and Willie, 
who looked upon John's remarks as being too 
personal. 

" As I had nothing particular to do, and besides 
as I wasn't quite at home with my breviary as yet, 
I took a very long time finishing, and when 1 



l8o CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

closed my book and, according to a little practice 
of mine, said a short prayer for the dying sinners 
of the day, and another short prayer for those lit- 
tle ones of God who are in imminent danger of 
falling into mortal sin for the first time that very 
day — after all this, I say, I was over at least thirty 
miles of my seven hours' journey, and it was hard 
upon ten o'clock. When I raised my eyes, then, 
from my breviary — now Pm coming to the story 
— I saw a boy leaning against the door of the car 
with his eyes fixed upon me in the most wistful 
manner. The one short glance I gave him served 
me to take in almost every detail of his appear- 
ance. 

** He was the handsomest boy I ever saw. I am 
aware that I'm addressing a crowd of mamma's 
darlings who think they're nothing if not hand- 
some." 

"That's what,'' said Rob. 

"Sure!" added Winter. 

"And so they are; yet, all the same, none of 
you come up to the boy whose eyes, fifteen years 
ago, were turned wistfully upon me. 

" He was as handsome a lad as I had ever seen. 
He was about fifteen, undersized for his years, and 
looking much younger. A shock of chestnut hair 
peeped out from under his fishing hat and served 
to accentuate the striking beauty of his features. 
His eyes were full of expression and sweetness and 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. l8l 

innocence. He was well proportioned, and even 
in his rough outing dress one could see that in 
him health and goodness and beauty were all 
combined. 

" I said that his eyes were expressive, sweet, and 
innocent. The expressiveness, as I gazed upon 
him, revealed trouble and sadness. Something 
had gone wrong with him, I could see at once. 

"All this, I say, I took in at a glance: that was 
all the time he gave me. For as my eyes met his 
a look of displeasure came suddenly upon his face, 
an expression of aversion from me ; and he turned 
sharply and opened the door leading otit from the 
car 

** 'Hello !' I said in a tone that, without arousing 
the attention of others, would catch his ear. 

" He turned toward me again, and paused with 
his hand upon the door, his expressive face still 
telling me that I was an object of dislike to him. 

" *Come here, my boy, * I said. 

" He paused irresolutely as though some strug- 
gle were going on within him; then, evidently 
with an effort, released his clasp upon the door 
and took a step toward me. And mark this, my 
boys, as he let go the door and took that step, the 
look of aversion in his face disappeared as if by 
magic, and in its place came such an expression of 
trustfulness that I could hardly believe my eyes. 
Indeed, I rubbed them earnestly. 



1 82 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 



« «, 



O Father!' he exclaimed, holding out his 
hand to clasp mine — and his voice was as sweet as 
his character, * thank God that you called me. I 
was never in such trouble in my life: and if I had 
gone away that time — and I should have gone 
away had you not called me— -something awful 
might have happened. * 

"*Sit down, my boy,' I said, *and we'll have a 
talk. I saw that you were in trouble, and that's 
why I called you. ' 

" He took the seat beside me, and said at once : 

" * Father, I want to go to confession. ' 

" * Indeed, ' I answered. *If you wait till we get 

to L , I can hear you, but not till then. At 

present we are out of my diocese. In the mean 
time, my boy, you can tell me your trouble. * 

" *Well, Father, it's the worst trouble of my life. 
To begin with, my name is Ray Sumner. I am 
fifteen, and have been going to a Catholic board- 
ing-school in New York these last five years. 
After the closing exercises of this present year, 
myself and two college chums travelled off into 
the mountains for an outing. We are just now on 
our way home. * 

" * Where are your two friends?' I inquired. 

"'They're in the next car, in the smoker, poof 
fellows. Two of the best boys, Father, I ever 
met. They stood high at college, and were both 
\n our Blessed Lady's Sodaliil^ I've known thena 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 183 

now for three years, and never till to-day did I 
hear them say anything or see them do anything 
that was really bad. Of course, they had their 
little faults; but they were such good fellows. 

" 'Well, our outing passed most pleasantly. We 
went hunting and boating and bathing and fishing 
to our hearts' content. The only thing we didn't 
like was the fact that there was no Catholic church 
within thirty miles of us. It was partly, I should 
say chiefly, on that account that we broke up camp 
yesterday morning. You see, Father, I was mak- 
ing the Nine First Fridays, and to»day was to have 
been my ninth. The other two finished theirs on 
the first Friday of July. We reached the village 

of S last night, and went to the house of the 

parish priest. But he had been called away that 
very afternoon on important business, and was not 
expected back till Saturday. He was the only 
priest in S , and so we had to put off our com- 
munion. That spoils my nine Fridays, Father; 
I'll have to begin over again. ' 

"* You mustn't take your disappointment too 
hard,' I said. *You can begia over, as you say; 
and brides you did everything in your power. 
Is this your trouble?' 

"*No, sir; it's far worse. The trouble begaia 
on these cars. We took this train at seven o'clock 
this morning and started off pretty cheerfully, 
considering: our disappointment Everything went 



1 84 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

along nicely till about nine o'clock — yes, till a 
quarter-past nine ; for I happened just then to look 
at my watch. While I was putting it in my 
pocket, a man stepped over to where we were sit- 
ting, and said: "Here, youngsters, you must be 
pretty dry; we're going to have some fun in this 
smoker, and you fellows have got to join in." He 
held a bottle toward us. Now, Father, there 
wasn't one of us that ever touched liquor. We 
didn't care for it, and we always held that it was 
not a nice thing for youngsters like ourselves to 
drink, especially in public. And still, when that 
man held the bottle toward us I almost instinct- 
ively put out my hand to take it; I don't know 
why. There was something about the color of that 
liquor which seemed to — to captivate me — ^that's 
the only word I can think of that comes near ex- 
pressing the feeling I had. I drew back my hand 
almost as soon as I put it forward. But I didn't 
have to explain my change of purpose, for Harry 
Berton, one of my friends, reached over, took the 
bottle, and thanked the man, who at once hurried 
away. I was surprised at what Harry had done, 
and was still more surprised when he put the bot- 
tle to his lips and took a drink. I could hardly 
believe my eyes when Walter Sherbett, our com- 
panion, took the flask eagerly and put it to his 
mouth. And do vou know, Father, the strangest 
thing of all, as it seemed to me, was that I myself 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 1 85 

was tortured to take a share. Somehow nothing 
had ever seemed to me so inviting as that wretched 
bottle. ' 

'** Perhaps, Ray,' I said, *it was the force of ex- 
ample. ' 

** The expression which came upon Ray's fea- 
tures showed me at once that I was mistaken. It 
was a look of determination; a look which con- 
vinced me that I was speaking with a boy of char- 
acter. 

"'No,' Ray made answer; *it wasn't that. I've 
been thrown among all sorts of boys, Father, dur- 
ing my five years at boarding-school, and I learned 
pretty early that if a boy wants to be good, he's 
got to live up to his own conscience. Of course, 
I knew that it was no sin to take a drink if one 
could stand it, though for a boy to touch strong 
liquor at all certainly looks bad. But what fright- 
ened me was that I was so eager to drink. And 
besides, there was something that seemed to warn 
me.' 

"'Ray, that was youi guardian angel,* I said; 
for I now thought I saw the true meaning of my 
little friend's story. 

"'Father, I think so myself now that the temp- 
tation is over. My two chums tried to get me to 
drink; and I was almost on the point of yielding. 
They didn't know how near I was to giving up, 
and they tried to force me. One of them held me. 



IǤ CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

and the other put the bottle to my mouth, and 
tried to pour the liquor down my throat. ' 

*'*Ah/ I put in, 'that settled it, Ray, if I know 
you.* 

"* Exactly, Father; that settled it. I became 
bull-headed at once, and, much as I was fascinated 
by that bottle, I wouldn't have touched it then for 
anything. Sometimes it's good to be obstinate. 
Father.' 

"*You were firm, Ray. They were obstinate.' 

"*Well, they got angry at me, and swore, and 
called me names which made my blood boil, but 
I was too sorry for them to say anything. It was 
awful to hear these dear friends of mine I had 
always thought to be next door to saints swearing 
and talking like street loafers. I tried to get the 
bottle away from them, and that made them drink 
the more. Oh, it was the awfullest half -hour I 
ever spent. My best friends were going to ruin 
right under my eyes. Father, I loved those two 
boys as if they were my own brothers. ' 

" Here my little friend's voice broke. I was 
strongly moved myself, for though I have roughly 
repeated his words I am utterly unable to give 
you any idea of the pathos which he put into his 
story. He was as affectionate as he was firm, and 
as firm as he was beautiful. 

"*I hate to say it,' he went on, 'but at the end 
of half an hour my two companions were entirely 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 187 

changed. They were drtink, and they talked like 
— like devils. ' 

" He put his hands before his face and paused. 
*Go on, my dear boy,' I said encouragingly, 'tell 
me all. I feel quite sure that I can help you. ' 

" He gave me a glance of gratitude and con- 
tinued : 

"*I said, Father, that they began to talk like 
devils. Well, the smoker itself seemed to become 
like the bad place itself. There were bottles in 
every direction, and the cursing and blaspheming 
and vile singing were horrid. It seems horrid 
now. Father, but at the time I felt tempted to 
listen, I felt tempted to take part. I tried to pray, 
but prayer had grown ugly, and everything vile 
and villainous had grown beautiful. It seemed to 
me that God wasn't near me, and everything had 
become topsy-turvy. I became frightened, for I 
feared that I was about to yield and fall into mor- 
tal sin. Just then the fellow who had given us 
the flask broke into a song. He had a magnificent 
voice, and as he began every one grew silent, and 
many crowded up to the further end of the car 
where he was standing leaning against the water- 
cooler, with his hat tilted back and with a bottle 
in his hand. His fine voice could be heard dis- 
tinctly through the car. But such a song ! It was 
vile and nasty; and yet at the moment I would 
have given anything to listen to it, if I dared. 



iSS CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

But I knew that it was a question of keeping my 
5oul white, and I made up my mind to leave the 
car till it was over. ' 

"*God bless you, my boy,' I said; for his way 
of speaking convinced me that he had escaped free 
from a general tragedy of souls. 

"*My two friends, just as soon as the song 
began, crowded forward eagerly to hear it. They 
left behind them that vile bottle. Here it is. * 

" He drew from his bosom a pint flask which 
was nearly empty. You can imagine, boys, the 
effect of so much liquor on lads who had never be- 
fore touched it. I took the bottle, and threw it 
out of the open window. 

" * Porter, ' I said to the attendant negro, who was 
just passing our seat, *is the state-room of this car 
engaged?* He answered that it was not. I se- 
cured it at once for half a day ; for I felt that I 
should have need of it. 

"*Well, Ray,' I resumed, *you may thank God 
sincerely that you have come off so well from this 
temptation. It was an unusual, a terrible one; 
and to show you that I understand your case, Tm 
going to finish your story myself. ' 

" Ray gazed at me in wonder. 

"'When you left that vile smoker, Ra}^ you 
came into this car. At once your eyes lighted 
upon me, and you felt an inclination to address 



me' 



CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 1 89 

***Yes, sir; that was it exactly,' said Ray. 

"*0n the other hand,* I continued, 'you felt an 
impulse just in the other direction, to get as far 
away from me as possible. ' 

"*How in the world, Father, did you know 
that?' 

" * And another thing, the inclination to go away 
from me was stormy, disturbing, disquieting — in 
a word, just like the inclination you felt toward 
taking that drink. ' 

"* Father, Father,' cried Ray, 'you are reading 
my heart.' 

"*No, my boy,' I answered; * but some centuries 
ago there was a saint named Ignatius, who wrote 
some rules to help us to tell the motions of the 
^ood and the motions of the bad spirit. You have 
had a good angel, quiet and gentle in his sugges- 
tions, helping you against the Prince of Darkness. 
But I haven't finished your story yet. While 
you stood looking at me and hesitating, I finished 
saying my office and said a prayer for you * 

"*Forme, Father?' 

" *Yes, my boy; I said a little prayer for all the 
boys in the world who were that day to be tempted 
to commit mortal sin. ' 

" Ray seized my hand, while his eyes spoke in- 
tense gratitude. 

" *Then I looked up, and my eyes caught yours. 
As soon as you saw my face you at once were 



I9« CLAUDE LIGMTFOOT. 

sei^d with a strong dislike for me — an unacconnt- 
able aversion ; and while yon felt moved to come 
near me anyhow, you were nrged yet more vio- 
lently to leave the car. Yon yielded to this feel- 
i^ng and started to go ont, when you heard me 
calling you. Then the struggle was renewed, and 
it was with the greatest difficulty that you made 
up your mind to come to me and to tell me your 
whole story. But just as soon as you arrived at 
this decision you felt like your old self — am I not 
right?' 

"*Yes, Father; but how in the world can you 
know this?* 

" * As soon as you made up your mind, your feel- 
ings of disgust for prayer, the allurements of all 
the wrong-doing going on in the smoker van- 
ished into thin air. You felt no longer any dis- 
like toward me — in a word, all 37'our temptations 
and evil inclinations were gone. ' 

" Ray gazed upon me as though I were a mind- 
reader. I saw in that gaze that I had told his 
story aright." 

At this point of Father Barry's story Rob could 
contain himself no longer. 

" Father Barry, " he broke in, " excuse me for 
interrupting, but I am like Ray: I can't for the 
life of me see how you could know all that with^ 
©ut being told. " 

Father Barry smiled. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 19I 

" I knew the rest of his story, Rob, by inference. 
First of all, it seemed clear to me that the strong 
and sudden inclination for drink which came upon 
these boys was neither natural nor acquired. I 
reasoned that the devil was trying to put liquor 
into their mouths to addle if not to steal away 
their brains. '* 

"Does the devil tempt people to drink .>'* asked 
Harry. 

"Let me answer your question indirectly, my 
boy. When I first went to the seminary I was a 
great smoker ^ ** 

" If any one asks what's a seminary,** said John 
Winter, in a stage whisper to the boys^, " I'll shoot 
him." 

" But, " continued the priest, " I was obliged, as 
a seminarian, to lay aside my pipe and cigar. It 
was a little hard at first, but by degrees I became 
pretty well used to it. One morning, after si^ 
weeks in the seminary, I woke up with a burn- 
ing desire for a smoke. During the Mass my 
thoughts were wandering to the imaginary fumes 
of a Havana; during studies my fancy was tracing 
rings and clouds. It seemed to me then that there 
was nothing in the world like a good smoke. So 
engrossed was I by this longing that I could hardly 
apply myself to my books. I felt thoroughly 
ashamed of myself, but there was the longing. It 
went to bed with me, and got up with me in the 



192 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

morning. It followed me, it clung to me, it 
haunted me. The third day it was the same. The 
fourth day it was worse. Then I screwed up my 
courage and went to my spiritual director, hoping, 
in my heart, that after the shame of telling my 
story he might let me smoke a cigar. I told him 
my story. He was a saintly old man of deep ex- 
perience, and when I had ended he said: * My dear 
brother, what you tell me is a very good sign. 
The devil, when he is afraid to attack a man 
openly, because he sees that the man is in horrof* 
of all sin, attacks him in what he finds weakest. 
Your weak point, the devil thinks, is smoking. 
He wants to worry you about smoking, and then 
gradually lead you on to something worse. But 
you have already inflicted on the devil the strong- 
est blow. He hates the light. You have told on 
him. * Then, my boys, I walked out of that room 
with no more longing for smoking than I had for 
the study of Hebrew. Now do you understand 
how I could infer the rest of Ray*s story?" 

" Oh !" exclaimed Rob, " as soon as Ray made 
up his mind to tell you his temptation, the devil 
turned tail." 

" That's exactly what happened, as I firmly be- 
lieve,'* answered Father Barry. "The Prince of 
Darkness doesn't like to have his plans brought 
to light, and that's why he hates the confes- 
sional. " 



CLAUDS LIGHTFOOT. 29 J 

"This is all very fine," broke in Willie Hardy 

but let us hear the story." 

" All right, Willie. Well, we were now travel 
ling in my diocese, and after a few words on my 
t)artj and a short preparation on Ray's, I heard the 
boy '^^ confession — a general confession of his whole 
iife, in the state-room which I had engaged. Now 
I don't want to shock yon boys — you know how 
mnditii i-n priests are the secrets of confession. 
But 1 shall presently explain why I now say to 
you that this boy, whose confession was the first I 
ever heard, had never in his whole life committed 
a single mortal sin. He had had his temptations, 
trying ^nes, too; for he carried about him, my 
friends, this muddy vesture of decay; but he 
had come off bravely, and his greatest triumph, 
the triumph of grace, he had won on that very 
morning. But a few minutes had elapsed after 
his confession, and Ray was still making a short 
thanksgiving for the grace of the sacrament, when 
the door of the car opened, and two boys, both 
larger than Ray, and a year or two older, stag- 
gered in. Their faces were flushed, and they 
glanced eagerly about the car. They looked 
angry; and I at once inferred that they had come 
to settle with Ray for making off with their flask. 

*^'Ray,' I said, 'show yourself at the door, and 
€all them here. Say nothing about me. ' 

•' Ray did as I had directed ^im. The two ad* 



«94 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

vanced at once, and, staggering into our state« 
room, began to upbraid Ray in very unbecoming 
language Ray interrupted them. 

** *Boys, ' he said, * there's a Catholic priest here.* 

"The two would have gone out, but I barred 
their progress. 

** *Let me out, ' said one. *I'll not stay here. ' 

***But you shall,' I answered. * Neither of you 
boys shall leave this room till 5^ou are perfectly 
sober. Ray, go out and call the porter. ' 

" Ray made haste to obey me. 

" The two wore an ugly look. I saw that they 
were determined to get out even should it be nec- 
essary for them to use violence; but I was re- 
solved to save these poor fellows, if possible, 
from further excess. 

" One of them had put his hand upon my shoul- 
der with the intention of thrusting m© aside, whea 
Ray retuirned with the porter. 

"* Porter,' I said, slipping a dollar into his 
hand, 'I want these two young friends of mine to 
stay in here for a few hours till they're all right.' 

" The porter gave me an intelligent nod. 

"*See heah, you boys: ef either of yous steps a 
foot out o* dis heah compahtment, Fll git the con- 
ductah and the brakemen on you' necks!* And 
the porter frowned horribly. 

" Boys, in general, stand in awe of railroad offi- 
cials : and my two captives, even in their present 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 1 95 

condition, were no exceptions to the rule. With 
very ugly words upon their lips, they threw them- 
selves upon one of the sofas and glared at me vin- 
dictively. But the porter's aid did not cease here. 
He came in presently with a plentiful supply of 
cold water and other restoratives ; and despite the 
growling of the prisoners he worked at them vig- 
orously, so that, with my assistance and Ray's, 
he soon had them on a fair way to complete re- 
covery. 

** They ceased growling very shortly, and the 
only signs of their dissipation were their inflamed 
faces and their stupid expressions. What the 
porter gave them then, I don't know to this day. 
Whatever it was, they were soon buried in a heavy 
sleep. 

"*Now, sah, * remarked this sagacious negro, *ef 
you lets them young gemmen sleep for about two 
houahs, they'll be jist as good as new.' 

" I replied with a fifty-cent piece, and wished 
internally that I could spare more. Ray seemed 
to divine my wish ; for he came forward with an 
additional tip. The smile the negro returned us 
was fully worth the money. He told us to rely on 
him for anything we wanted, and departed with 
his very best bow. 

"Toward one o'clock, Walter Sherbett awoke. 
His first words were apologies to me for his con- 
duct. He tried to be oleasant, but he was gloomy. 



19^ CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

ill at ease, and, worst of all, I could see that he 
held m;^ a ^.version. At all events, he was sober. 
" Half an nour later Harry opened his eyes, and 
the same scene was repeated. Both of them, I 
saw, would be far happier could they escape my 
presence. 

" And now I made a bold move. '' 

" 'Boys, * I said, *I want you to go to confession.' 
•* You should have seen their faces. Both pro- 
tested that it was impossible, out of the question; 
and I never saw two boys more determined. But 
I too was in earnest : it was a fight for souls, and, 
as I believed, I had the Sacred Heart on my side. 
You know Our Lord has promised that priests who 
practise devotion to His Heart shall have the 
power of moving the hardest sinners. I had ear- 
nestly endeavored during my five years in the sem- 
inary to praclA^e this devotion, and now I counted 
upon seeing the promise fulfilled. 

"And sure enough, after a long discussion — how 
it came about seems miraculous — I persuaded 
both boys to make their confession. When they 
had finished, they had no words to express their 
gratitude to me: they said they didn't understand 
how it was that they had been so determined not 
to go to confession, and they protested that while 
they were still heartily ashamed of themselves, 
and sorry for their disgraceful behavior, they were 
now very happy. In short, they became my warm 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 1 97 

friends, promised to write to me, secured my ad- 
dress, and did everything within the inventive ia- 
^ennity of boys to show me their regard. 

"I explained to them my theory of their day's 
adventures ; and they readily agreed with me that 
the bad angel had been very active, and in two 
cases out of the three very successful with them. 
But clever as I thought myself, my young friends, 
I was blind. I thought I saw everything. I had 
seen only the fact : I did not see the reasoa ** 

Father Barry paused^ but there was no smile 
on his face. 

"What was it you didn't see. Father?" 

"We'll come to that, Rob. Well, when we 
reached my station, I got off, accompanied by as 
hearty farewells as ever followed a traveller. 

" I see them yet, these three bright, happy boys 
standing upon the platform and waving their hats 
as long as I could follow them with my eyes. 
Then, trusting that they would not forget to thank 
our Blessed Mother, whose sodalists they were, 
for their deliverance, I walked up the main street 
and entered my church. I poured forth an ardent 
prayer of thanks for these three confessions, the 
first fruits of my ministry. I was still engaged 
in prayer when I heard a great clamor without. 
I raised my head and listened ; from out of the 
din I distinguished calls in various voices for ^ 
priest. 



I 



198 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

" Rushing up to the tabernacle, I drew out the 
key from my pocket and, opening the door, hastily 
took several consecrated hosts from the ciborium 
and placed them in my pyx. 

** I was tying up the bourse when a man threw 
open the doors of the church. 

"* What's the matter?' I said, 'I am a priest* 

" There was now a sea of faces at the door, and 
I could hear the hearty * Thank Gods' that broke 
from the honest lips of their owners. 

" Then the man spoke, and as he spoke the blood 
in my body seemed to turn to ice. Boys, do you 
know what had happened? 

" The train I had just left had broken through a 
bridge four miles further up the track and the 
engine and cars had been dashed down full fifty 
feet. 

" My head was buzzing, and I was leaning for 
support against the altar before the man had fin- 
ished his announcement. But in a moment I re- 
covered myself and made for the door. 

" A number of men came crowding about me, 
each one urging me to take his horse. I jumped 
upon the nearest, and, accompanied by the man 
who had given me news of the accident, dashed 
away at full speed. It was a time of agonizing 
suspense for me ; and, fast though we went, hours 
seemed to be passing. 

** At last we were there, and as I made my way 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. Ipf 

in among dead and dying I gave general absolu- 
tion to all. 

"* Father,' said an Irishman, taking off his hat 
as he addressed me, ^there's a boy here who is 
begging so earnestly to go to Communion. * 

"I followed him past faces that were set in 
death. Among them I saw my poor friends, 
Walter and Harry. They had died instantly. 

"*Here he is, Father,* said the Irishman. I 
gazed down upon that sweet, placid face, the face 
of Ray — the eyes that met mine were shining with 
joy of welcome. Looking upon his features one 
would not know that the boy's last hour had come. 

" There was little time to spare. Bending be- 
side him, I asked him to make an act of contrition 
that I might once more give him absolution. 

"*I am ready. Father,* he said, reaching his 
hands toward me. *I made another act of contri- 
tion just before you came. What day is it> 
Father? ' 

"'Friday,* I answered. 

"*Oh, thank God! thank God!* he exclaimed, 
clasping his hands, *I am going to make my Nine 
First Fridays after all.* 

" The devotion that lighted up his face as I gave 
him the Blessed Sacrament was touching in the 
extreme ; and with the memory of that sweet look 
of purity accompanying me like the benediction 
of an anijel, I hurried away to attend to others. 



too CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

** For half an hour my attention was wholly eti« 
grossed with the dread work of preparing vsx^n of 
all sorts and conditions to meet their God. Then 
I returned to Ray's side. The doctor had informed 
me that his death was imminent. 

" The casualty which had wrecked so many lives 
was, as people then thought, a mere accident. 
It was only last week that I learned that it wa$ 
a crime. It all came of the rivalry of two bridge^ 
builders. Mark this, boys: at nine o'clock of 
that very morning two men, a bridge-builder and 
his accomplice, had hit upon a plan for ruining 
the bridge — a plan that defied detection ; and while 
these two were taking measures that would ruin 
the bodies of many men, the devil, who knew 
their nefarious scheme, was working with a last 
desperate effort to ruin their souls. Now you see 
how blind I was. I had perceived clearly that 
the devil was working might and main upon that 
train, but it had never occurred to me that there 
was some particular reason for his putting forth 
all his power of malice. 

" On again reaching Ray's side, the first thing 
I did was to ask permission to make use, should I 
deem proper, of anything he had told me whether 
in confession or not. He gave it very willingly. 
His face had grown wan, and his breathing was 
heavy. But he was brave and noble and joyous 
to the last. Not without effort, he told me how 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOO'I. aoi 

he and his two friends, seated in the state-room I 
had engaged for them, had begun together the 
saying of the beads ; how he had been moved and 
edified by the great and nnusnal devotion which 
marked the demeanor of Harry and Walter ; how 
at the end of the third decade, as the two said the 
sweet words, 'Pray for ns sinners now and at the 
hour of our death, amen, ' there had come a great 
crash, and then a blank. 

"After this recital Ray paused for a moment: 
a change came over his face, and I judged that the 
supreme moment was at hand. I gave him my 
crucifix, which he pressed tenderly to his lips, and 
held there for quite a long time. Then suddenly 
his face lighted up with a supreme joy. 

"* Father, Father,' he gasped, 'I have kept it 
white.* 

" With a strange loveliness upon his features, he 
murmured the sacred name, and still radiantly 
beautiful, as though his last heart-throb had been 
one of exquisite bliss, his face became fixed in 
that last tender expression of exultant love. 

"Ah, thank God! thank God! he had kept it 
white — I knew his meaning. He was speaking, 
my boys, of his robe of baptismal innocence." 

Then Father Barry arose, and looking neither 
to right nor left, but holding his face as though 
he were gazing upon some vision of that other 
world, he walked iuto the house. 



» 



909 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

It was full ten minutes before the boys discov- 
ered that they were talking in whispers. Then 
they becanae silent, and upon the evening breeze 
came to their ears the strains from a boat-crew of 
seminarians upon the lake as they chanted the Ave 
Maris Stella to the Queen who knows so well how 
to guard the purity of her young and loving 
clients. 

CHAPTER XXI. 

m WHICH CLAUDE TELLS A STORY, 

**OAY, Frank, I want to go to confession." 

v3 Claude, standing beside a hammock at ten of 
the night, was tugging at Frank Elmwood's arm. 

Within the tent it was very dark, so we must 
conclude that it was from mere force of habit that 
Frank reached out a hand for his spectacles and 
fixed them upon his modest nose, before address- 
ing the disturber of his dreams. 

"Who's that?" 

" It's me — it's I — it's Claude. And I want to 
go to confession." 

" I'm not a priest, Claude." 

" I know it : but I want to go to Father Barry 
right off." 

" Father Barry went to bed a few minutes after 
telling us that story, and besides he doesn't be- 
long to this diocese, so I doubt whether he has 
faculties What do you want to go to confession 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 203 

for anyhow? You went to Father Maynard just 
before we left Milwaukee, and last Saturday you 
made your confession to the priest in charge of 
the seminarians at Vesper Island. Once every 
two weeks ought to be often enough for a boy that 
hasn't made his First Communion." 

"Yes, Frank; but I*ve been awful bad. I 
spoiled the fishing on those Chicago boys, and I 
hit Willie Hardy all my might on the muscle, so 
that he cried a canful of tears : and I was unchari- 
table, because I said '* 

*' Hold on: I'm not a priest, I tell you. And I 
don't want your confession." 

" Well, may I go over to the island and see the 
priest there?" 

" At this hour of the night?" 

"Yes, Frank. I did something yesterday, and 
now I don't know whether it was wrong or not." 

Could Claude have seen Frank's face as he made 
this declaration, he would have seen a face made 
up largely of astonishment. Frank had thought 
that Claude was a simple scapegrace who, devot- 
ing his early years to action, had no time for 
thought or reflection. Now he learned for the first 
time that the scapegrace had a conscience both 
tender and scrupulous. Frank thought for a mo- 
ment. 

"Claude," he said at last, "your mamma told 
vou to obey me." 



««4 CLAUDE LiSlfTFOOT. 

"Yes, Frank." 

"Well, now, I'm going to give you a command. 
To-morrow after breakfast Vm going to the vil- 
lage to buy some necessaries. You may come 
along, and go to confession there to Father 
Muntsch, who's a nice good old man. Now I 
order you to go to bed. *' 

" All right, Frank. But don't you think I ought 
to make an act of con *' 

" Go to bed," repeated Frank, " and don't think 
about confession till to-morrow. " 

Three minutes later, Frank arose from his ham- 
mock, drew aside a fold of the tent curtain so as 
to admit the moonlight, and advancing to Claude's 
side gazed down upon the little face that lay 
bathed in the pallid splendor of the moon. 

Claude was sleeping, so gently and with an ex- 
pression so sweet and restful upon his features that 
he seemed in Frank's eyes to typif-^ the peace of 
God. 

The picture of Tarcisius, which Claude had 
brought along with him and so fastened over his 
hammock that his eyes could dwell on it after re- 
tiring till Frank blew out the candle, was now 
clasped close to the sleeping child's breast. 

Frank gazed at the pure, sweet face for some 
time : then by an involuntary movement his hand 
went to his head to remove in very reverence th« 
bat that was not there. 



CLAUDE LIGMTFOOT. 105 

Frank grinned as he caught himself in this 
action, and turned away. 

" Well, I went bareheaded morally before that 
little chap, anyhow," he said, as he threw himself 
in his hammock. " What a beautiful soul the lit- 
tle scalawag must have! And I wonder why he 
pays such attention to that picture of Tarcisius?" 

Then Frank fell asleep too. 

They had a pleasant drive together the next 
morning. Claude was unusually quiet, as, in the 
light bnggy which Frank had borrowed for the 
occasion they passed by meadows sparkling with 
dew upon the clover, fields of corn, and vast 
stretches of golden wheat. Claude's restfulness 
could be partly explained by the fact that he was 
preparing for confession, partly, I am bound to 
add, by the fact that he indulged in a very pro* 
longed lunch of bread and jam and such a number 
of apples and peaches as would have rendered 
an ordinary lad torpid, and a grown man exces- 
sively ill. 

Neither of these discomfits befell Claude. In- 
deed, had not Frank exercised his authority, the 
young penitent would have climbed out upon the 
shafts and indulged his taste in similar athletic 
unconventioualities. 

I dare say that Claude made a very good confes- 
sion. Tha old village priest, a kind German, was 
lauch tak^n with Claude and Frank; and, befora 



2o6 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

hearing their confessions, insisted on their re- 
maining to take dinner with him. 

"I don't think," Frank remarked with studied 
gravity, " that you'll care about having us to din- 
lier after you have heard Claude's confession, ' 

** That's so," said Claude very humbly. 

The priest laughed. 

"Promise me now that you will take dinner 
with me." 

The promise was given: and the good priest, 
whose diet was very frugal indeed, secretly 
ordered his housekeeper to spare neither pains 
nor expense in preparing a dinner for his young 
visitors. 

Father Muntsch, I am sorry to say, took no part 
in this dainty repast. The dishes, piping hot had 
been placed on the table, and Father Muntsch had 
pronounced grace, when the bell rang. 

"Excuse me," said the priest, hurrying from 
the room. He returned quickly, having changed 
his cassock for a coat, and said quickly : 

" An urgent sick call." Then he was gone, 

"Father Muntsch," said the housekeeper, enter- 
ing the room, " says that you must not wait for 
him: he may not be back for hours." 

"I'm sorry for Father Muntsch," said Frank. 
" Claude, what will you take — chicken or beef, or 
both?" 

Claude had been gazing intently for some mo* 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 20J 

naents at the sideboard, whereon were placed a 
most tempting lemon pie and some cream-cakes, 

"I want pie," said Claude simply. 

** That's for dessert, Claude/' 

" I don't want any chicken, nor any beef either: 
I want some pie." And Claude continued to gaze 
wistfully at the tempting array upon the side' 
board. 

" Is the child sick?" asked the housekeeper. 

*' Sick !" exclaimed Frank. " He ought to be, 
but he isn't. This morning I brought along lunch 
for three, intending one part for myself and the 
other two for Claude. But Claude attended to 
all of it without my help. " 

"I'm not hungry," continued Claude, still gaz- 
ing wistfully at the sideboard, "but I think I 
could take a little pie. " 

Then Claude in a businesslike way, that is, with 
promptness and dispatch, disposed of two quarters 
of the pie, and modestly called for cream-cakes. 

Frank, meantime, ravenously hungry after his 
long fast and drive, was eating the substantial. 

When Claude had devoured four cream-cakes, 
an expression of trouble again came upon his face. 

"Are you sick, little boy?" inquired the house- 
keeper. 

"Please, ma'am," said the youthful destroyer 
with a blush, "I think I'd like some meat and a 
iiu/e piece of chicken, if you please. " 



2 ©8 ^LAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

Then Frank left the room, to return a moment 
later with an extremely red face. 

In justice to Claude, it must be said that he con- 
tented himself with a somewhat moderate propor* 
tion of the more solid foods; and thus it came to 
pass that before Frank had fairly begun his din* 
ner his brisk companion had returned thanks, and 
was presently fingering the table in a manner 
that threatened a general crash. 

Frank was confronted with a dilemma. To give 
Claude his freedom was not to be thought of. 
There was no knowing what astonishing feats the 
youngster might not undertake with the borrowed 
horse. The horse was wild, so was Claude. It 
would be a case of diamond cut diamond. On the 
other hand, unless Claude's attention were di- 
verted, there was momentary danger of some 
catastrophe. Claude, after confession, was wont 
to be intensely kittenish. How to keep Claude in 
order and, at th© same time, take his dinner in 
peace was the question. 

"*' By the way, Claude," said Frank in a burst of 
inspiration, " what is your favorite story. *' 

"The story about Tarcisius,*' came the prompt 
reply. ^^ Be was a boy for you: he was brave and 
noble. Ray Sumner would have been like him 
too, I think. I wish I had Ray Sumner's picture." 

"Tell me the story of Tarcisius," said Frank, as 
be helped himself to a piece of chicken^ 



CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT, 209 

"What!" piped Claude. "Do you mean to say- 
that you don't know all about Tarcisius?" 

" I will, if you tell me,'* was the evasive answer. 

Claude arose, put his hands behind his back, 
and fastening his gaze upon vacuity began in this 
wise : 

" A true contrast to the fury and discord with- 
out was the scene within the prison. Peace, 
serenity, cheerfulness, and joy reigned there; and 
the rough stone walls and vaults re-echoed to the 
chant of Saturday [Claude meant psalmody] in 
which Pancratius was the centre [precentor] , and 
in which depth called out to depth ; for the pris- 
oners in the lower dungeon responded to " 

"Hold on," broke in Frank, who had dropped 
his knife and fork, " are you reading out of a 
book?" 

" I know it by heart," answered Claude. 

" Well, suppose you try to tell me the story in 
your own words. " 

" All right. Well, you know, Frank, the pagan« 
were very mean and ugly toward the Christians 
over in Rome ; and whenever they got hold of a 
good man or a holy woman they got out thumb- 
screws, and rackets, and boiling oil, and behaved 
awfully. They were cruel. 

" Now, once upon a time Pancratius — he was a 
good one ! — and some others were in prison, and 
were condemned to die by being devoured by wild 



2IO CLAUDE LIGHTFOOjt. 

beasts. The day before they were to die, a holy 
priest wanted to send them holy Communion, so 
that they could preserve the sacred hosts over 
night and go to Commtmion the very day the}^ 
were to die. But you see, Frank, there was some- 
thing standing in the way. *' 

" What's that?" interrupted Frank. 

*' There was something standing in the way^ 
repeated Claude. " That is, the persecutors had 
spotted all the deacons and priests in Rome, so 
that if any of them were to try to bring Com- 
munion to the Christians in prison, they would be 
taken up. So then, the holy priest, after saying 
Mass, was looking around for somebody who 
wasn't known to the persecutors to carry the holy 
Communion to the prison. And while he was 
looking around, a little bit of a boy — Tarcisius, 
you know — stepped right up and said how anxious 
he was to carry Our Lord to the prisoners. Do 
you know, Frank, I don't think that Tarcisius was 
as old as I am. He was a boy just like me, Frank, 
only he was an orphan. He was good at games, 
you know- " 

" No, I don't," broke in Frank. 

"Well, listen, then, and I'll prove it. The 
priest was afraid to intrust the holy Mysteries to 
a little chap like Tarcisius. But when he saw 
what a plucky fellow Tarcisius was he gave in. 
Then he wrapped up the Divine Mysteries in a 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 211 

linen cloth, and then put another cover over them. 
And little Tarcisins was so happy at the great 
hooor shown him that he just cried, and he 
blushed. 

"Then the priest told Tarcisins to be awful 
earefnl in guarding the Mysteries ; and the little 
chap said, 'I will die rather than betray them/ '* 

Claude paused here ; then added impressively : 

" That boy was a true American." 

The youthful narrator was perfectly serious. 

" Well, Tarcisius got along nicely till he came 
to where a crowd of boys were playing some game 
or another. They wanted just one boy to make 
up their game, and when they saw Tarcisius they 
were mighty glad, because, as one of them said, 
Tarcisius was an excellent hand at all sports. 
There now, Frank; that's in the book. Tarcisius 
used to play games just like you and me. Do you 
think, Prank, they played base-ball in those days?*' 

" I believe not," returned Frank. 

"Or foot-ball?" 

" Not the way we play it. " 

"Well, I wish the man who wrote that book 
had told us what game those boys were going to 
play. Anyhow, they wanted Tarcisius to join 
them. But of course he wouldn't think of such 
a thing when he was carrying Our Lord wrapped 
up in the bosom of his tunic. He kept his hands 
pressed to his bosom, and one of the boys noticed 



212 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

it Then the crowd wanted to see what he had. 
But the plucky little chap held on so tight that 
they couldn't do anything with him. They cuffed 
him, and kicked him, and pulled him about; but 
Tarcisius stood it without ever unfolding his arms. 
I wish I'd been there." 

"What would ^^2/ have done?" 

** I'd have taken his side." Claude's eyes spar- 
kled; he doubled his fists, and brought one of 
them down on the table with such strength that 
the dishes danced. 

" You'd better go on with your story," suggested 
Frank. 

" Well, of course a big crowd began to gather at 
once. Did you ever notice, Frank, when you get 
into a fight how quick a crowd gathers?" 

" I don't get into fights, young man." 

" Anyhow, there was a big crowd in less than 
no time, and one villain of a fellow said, *What 
is it? Why, only a Christian ass bearing the 
Mysteries.* Then the whole crowd fell on that 
brave little fellow. And they were stamping on 
him and beating him, when brave old Quad- 
ratus came up, and scattered them right and 
left. But he was a little too late. That little 
boy was nearly dead. All the same, he hadn't 
let go of the sacred Mysteries for a single second. 
And so when Quadratus, who was a Christian 
officer, picked up that little bit of a boy, he held 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 213 

ifi his arms a martyr — and — and the King of 
Martyrs. " 

Claude's face, as he spoke, glowed with enthu- 
siasm. 

" He must have felt happj% Frank, to hold two 
such things. You see Tarcisius had just strength 
enough to tell him that he was carrying the sacred 
Mysteries in his tunic, and Fll bet you anything 
that that big strong officer trembled all over when 
he took the Blessed Sacrament from the boy*s 
bosom. 

" Little Tarcisius didn't die at once, Frank. He 
opened his eyes a few minutes later to look upon 
a pagan lady, who had been kind to him, and then 
expired. That one look converted her. You see, 
Frank, he was a saint. But do you know, Frank, 
that that brave old Quadratus made a mistake, I 
think." 

"What was his mistake?*' 

" Why, when he saw that Tarcisius was dying, 
he should have uncovered the Blessed Eucharist 
and given him Communion." 

" He wasn't a priest," said Frank. 

" But the boy was dying, and there was no priest 
around," retorted Claude. " In those days of per- 
secution, the priests couldn't always be around; 
and so the people were sometimes allowed to take 
holy Communion themselves. " 

"But, perhaps," resumed Frank, "Quadratus 



214 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

might have thought that Tarcisius was too 
yoting. '* 

"Too young!'* bawled Claude. "If the boy 
had sense enough to defend the holy Eucharist 
with his life, I reckon he had sense enough to re- 
ceive holy Communion too. If I was in the place 
of Tarcisius, I'd have asked Quadratus to give me 
Communion, if I was able to do it." 

"But he didn't need Communion," said Frank. 
"A martyr goes straight to heaven anyhow." 

"You're a pretty Catholic, Frank Elmwood," 
said Claude disdainfully. " Every time you go 
to Communion you get more grace, you know; 
and the more grace you've got, the more you'll 
be able to love Our Lord when you get to 
heaven." 

"You are right, Claude; but Quadratus acted 
for the best, after all. If a thing like that were 
to happen in these times, it might be proper for 
even a layman to give Communion. But in those 
days the holy Mysteries were at all odds to be kept 
concealed from the pagans. Had Quadratus un- 
dertaken to give Tarcisius Communion, he might 
have exposed the Blessed Sacrament to the eyes 
of those who should not, according to the laws of 
the Church, see it, and who, once they had seen it, 
would have treated it with insult and sacrilegious 
irreverence. " 

"That's so," assented Claude. " I didn't see it 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 215 

that way before; but now you've made it as clear 
as daylight." 

"You're not as stupid as you look," Frank was 
pleased to observe. " You'll be a great theologiam 
some day." 

"You needn't poke fun," retorted Claude. 
" Tarcisius was great. I wish — I wish " 

Here Claude, feeling that he had said too much, 
bounded out of the door; and before Frank had 
quite finished his hearty meal the youthful ad- 
mirer of Tarcisius had succeeded in bringing 
about a very respectable dog-fight directly in front 
of the rectory. 

CHAPTER XXII. ^ 

IN WHICH WILLIE HARDY ACTS AS GUIDE WITH UNFOR- 
TUNATE RESULTS^ AND CLAUDE, ON BEING FOUND, 
MAKES THE MOST ASTOUNDING DECLARATION OF HIS 
LIFE. 

IT was nightfall. The boys were gath^ed 
about the camp-fire discussing Father Barry's 
story. 

All of them, with one exception, had been sin- 
gularly moved by the narration, and it had s^ 
them thinking very seriously. 

"It did me as much good as a retreat," said 
Frank. 

"I'd like to be like Ray, all my life," observed 
Dan. 



ai6 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

"Maybe you wouldn't care about dying so 
young/' said Charlie. 

" Pshaw ! Why not? If I could live as he did, 
I wouldn't care a cent when I died." 

Here pretty Willie came in. 

" I think Father Barryth thory wath a dreadful 
lie." 

" Take that back!" roared Claude, his eyes flash- 
ing with rage, and advancing upon Willie with 
clinched fists, "take that back, or I'll knock you 
into the middle of next week. " 

Elmwood's strong arm came about the passion- 
ate little fellow's shoulders. 

"Remember, Claude; remember your resolu- 
tion," and as he spoke he could feel the tremblings 
of passion that convulsed his charge's frame. 

Claude bit his lip, and grew pale with anger, 
while Willie, who had been on the point of taking 
to his heels, stood off at a distance, not a little out 
of countenance. 

"We need a horsewhip here," said Winter, stfiu:- 
ing very grimly at Willie. 

" It's about time to drown that fellow, ' growled 
i>ockery. 

"Father Barry," explained Willie, "thaid that 
Ray wath prettier than any of uth. Thath's not 
tho," he pursued energetically; and added with 
charming naivete, "I've heard folkth telling 
mamma that I wath the prettieth boy they ever 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 21 J 

tkaw. Father Barry ith a prieth, and he oughtn't 
to tell lieth like that." 

Elmwood, still holding Claude by the arm, 
walked away. 

"Come on, boys," said Winter, "let's go and 
find out the address of the nearest lunatic asylum." 

Willie was left master of the camp-fire. 

" That Claude ith a fool, " he soliloquized, gazing 
into the fire. " He ith a bad boy too." 

And Willie put on a very wise look. If thk 
gentle falsifier had any moral sense, he kept it 
from the observation of the vulgar with never- 
failing vigilance. 

Before going to bed that night, Claude called 
Willie aside. 

"Willie, Pm sorry for the way I spoke toyoti. 
I lost my temper awfully." 

"Tho you did," said Willie, who was brushing 
his teeth for the fifth time that day. " You wath 
very bad." 

"I know I was," said Claude humbly. "If I 
can make it up in any way, I'd be glad." 

Willie saw his chance. He was very anxious 
to supply himself with another bottle of perfume 
and certain articles of toilet, which could be ob- 
tained at a village some eight miles away. He 
was afraid to go alone, and thus far had failed in 
inducing any of the boys to promise him their 
oompany. 



2l8 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

" Will you come on a big walk with me to-mor- 
row, Claude?*' 

"A big walk? Sure; that is, if Frank will let 
us go." 

"Juth wait," said Willie, as he stepped over 
to where Frank was reading by the light of a 
candle. 

" Frank, I want to go to Eagle to-morrow with 
Claude." 

"Oh, no," answered Frank. "You might get 
lost." 

"Lotht! Why when I wath out here latht 
thummer for three weeks I uthed to go every day; 
and on thome days twith." 

"Every day!" said Frank incredulously. 

"Well, nearly every day. I mithed going 
oneth." 

" Are you sure you know the roads?" 

" I know them like a book. " 

"All right. You'd better start early and take 
a lunch along, for it's a good eight or nine miles. 
Claude can stand the walk well enough; but I 
don't know about yourself." 

"Oneth I walked forty mileth in one day." 

Frank considered it superfluous to advance any 
opinion on this statement. He turned to his book, 
and Willie departed to further the arrangements 
between Claude and himself. 

Now Willie had been to Eagle once. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 219 

A word of explanation as to Claude's burst of 
passion. Father Barry's story had impressed him 
beyond any story he had ever heard. His noble 
heart had been touched and softened and elevated 
by the character of Ray Sumner. He had attrib- 
uted Ray's spotlessness to frequent Communion; 
and he had resolved that with God's grace he 
would try to imitate Ray in keeping his soul 
white. In making this resolution, a new ardor 
had been enkindled within him to receive Our 
Lord in the Sacrament of His love. The fifteenth 
®f August looked far away to his holy impatience. 
Ah ! if the day were only at hand, then he would 
begin a new life. Ray would be his model, for he 
loved that gentle, firm boy, who now occupied in 
his mind the niche devoted to all that was high 
and holy and sublime. 

Willie's foolish remark had fallen upon him 
like a blow; and, greatly to Claude's humiliation, 
Claude had at once burst into a fit of anger. Poor 
Claude ! His fall made him feel still more sensi- 
bly his great need of the food of angels. 

On the morrow Claude and Willie started early 
and after an hour's smart walking came to a fork 
in the road. 

Willie did not remember having seen this part 
of the country before. 

"Which one shall we take?" asked Claude, who 
was tripping on in advance. 



220 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

"The one to the right," answered Willie 
promptly, "the other one goeth to Milwaukee." 

And turning to the right, the pair advanced 
briskly. 

».•••• • 

Toward four in the afternoon, Frank Elmwood 
became somewhat anxious. The two walkers 
should have come back by three o'clock at the 
latest. They had started at seven, and allowing 
them the extreme limit, they should have reached 
Eagle at ten. They were to start for home at 
eleven, certainly not later than twelve, and now 
it was four o'clock. 

He hastened over to Mr. Collins' honse, and 
communicated his fears to Rob. 

" Oh, they'll take care of themselves," said Rob, 
endeavoring to comfort poor Frank. 

" Will they?" exclaimed Frank. " Claude is one 
of the best little fellows in the w^orld; but if 
there's any chance in his way of losing his life or 
breaking his legs, he's in it every time. As for 
Willie, there's no telling what he'll do. He's 
about as responsible as a cat, only he hasn't half 
as much conscience." 

Rob considered for a moment: 

"Just wait a minute," he said, "and I'll run in 
«nd ask mother. " 

He returned presently, and said : 

** Mother feels the way you do, Frank; she 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. tai 

doesn't trust either. She says we can take the 
two mares, Betsy and Virginia, and scour the 
country. Come on, we'll find *em before night." 

Presently the two friends were galloping down 
the road which Claude and Willie had taken that 
morning. 

When they came to the cross-road, Frank said : 

** Rob, you go right on to Eagle, and as you go 
along the road make inquiries. If they haven't 
2[ot there, come back this way and follow me. " 

So while Rob went on toward Eagle, Frank 
took the road to the left, and galloped on for about 
two miles, when he met a man on an empty hay- 
wagon. 

" Did you see two boys of about twelve, one of 
them very stout and springy, the other very girl- 
ish looking, sir?" 

The man after long deliberation made answer : 

** No : but I saw a girl with a big straw hat, and 
a tramp with a hole in his shoes." 

"Much obliged," growled Frank, urging Betsy 
into a gallop. 

Presently he came to another road at a right 
angle to the one he was galloping on. He paused 
for a moment, then adopting a cautious pace con- 
tinued straight on. 

He stopped at the first farm-house, and in answer 
to his inquiry learned that a man with a black 
beard and a bull -dog had passed by an hour ago. 



»«2 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

A few miles further on, he came upon a sight 
which gladdened his heart. 

In a large field, a number of farm-hands were 
working about a threshing-machine, 

"Now I'll get some information," he said to 
himself. 

Dismounting from his horse he advanced to a 
group of men and repeated his question. The 
men compared notes, and after going over a list 
of vehicles and personages that had gone by, came 
to the conclusion that they had seen no small boys, 
such as he had described, passing that way. One 
of them, who appeared to be the owner of the 
farm, made further inquiries among the other men 
scattered about in various parts of the field, and 
returned shaking his head. 

"No, sir,'* he said, "you may rely upon it that 
they didn't come this way. If they had passed, 
some one of the hands would have noticed them. 
But you look tired; let me give you a glass of 
whiskey, it will brace you up. " 

"Thank you, sir," answered Frank. "I am 
very tired and worried. I don't care for any 
whiskey, but if you've a glass of water handy I'd 
be much obliged." 

Frank, weary and depressed, was tempted to take 
the whiskey, but au incident in Father Barry's 
story was still fresh in his mind. 

"You are most welcome to the water," said the 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 223 

farmer. " You're the first man that wouldn't take 
a glass of whiskey that I've met in a long time; 
and I don't mind saying that I respect you fol 
it." 

Bidding the farmer a courteous farewell, Frank 
returned upon his tracks, and galloped on without 
a stop till he reached the road at a right angle to 
his previous course. Then allowing the horse to 
fall into a steady trot, he said a prayer to St 
Anthony. 

It was nearing six o'clock when he came upon 
a place where the road divided at a broad angle. 
A saloon stood at the cross-ways, and fanning 
himself upon the stoop sat the saloon-keeper. 

" Did two boys pass this way to-day, sir?" 

" Two boys of about eleven or twelve, both of 
'em handsome little fellows, and one of 'em pretty 
lively on his legs?" 

"Yes, sir: which road did they take?'* 

"That one," said the saloon-man, pointing to 
Frank's left. 

"Thank you ever so much, sir," and Frank 
went on with a lighter heart. 

But his troubles were by no means over. Roads 
branched in every direction on this thoroughfare, 
and it was only by dint of constant and careful in. 
quiry that he was enabled to follow the young adc 
venturers. 

•*They are lost sure," he said as he changed his 



«24 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

road for the seventh time since meeting the bar- 
keeper. 

It was nearly sundown when he came upon a 
lonely hut standing back a little from the wayside. 
He drew rein, and was about to dismount, when 
his heart gave a throb of joy as he heard Willie's 
voice : 

"Oh, Frank, I'm tho glad; pleath take me 
home." And there at the door stood Willie, hold- 
ing in his hand a slice of bread and butter. 

"Where's Claude?" 

"I'm tired almoth to death," said Willie, "an4 
I want to get back. I'll get up behind you." 

"Where's Claude?" roared Frank. 

"Oh, I guess he'll get home all right Thay, 
leth start at once." 

"Where's Claude?" Frank shrieked. 

" Heth gone that way. When he got thith far, 
I wath near dead. Claude brought me in here, 
and tried to get the woman in thith houthe to tell 
uth where we were. She couldn't thpeak any 
English, and we didn't underthand much that she 
thaid." 

After close inquiries, Frank succeeded in elicit- 
ing the following statements : 

First, that Claude had been the cause of their 
losing their way. (Frank knew this to be false. ) 

Secondly, that the German woman had suc- 
ceeded in giving Claude the idea that there waa 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 22$ 

a village four or five miles further down the 
road. 

Thirdly, that Claude, bidding Willie rest in the 
hut till he returned from the village, where he 
hoped to find out where they were, and, if neces- 
sary, to hire a conveyance and a driver to bring 
them home, had started off bravely alone. 

" Stay here till I come back," said Frank curtly; 
and mounting his sweating mare he urged her 
into a gallop. Frank did not spare his mount; 
and before the twilight had shaded utterly into 
darkness he saw the village in the distance. 

Nearest him of all the houses was a modest 
church, standing away from the body of the village 
by several hundred yards. 

As he drew near, and with head bent forward 
strained his eyes to see anything that might lead 
to Claude's discovery, he discerned some one run- 
ning down the church -steps, and turning, as he 
ran, in Frank's direction, while at the same time 
a pistol-shot rang upon the air. 

"Get up, Betsy! get up!" he screamed, for in 
pursuit of the running figure came three larger 
forms. 

"Hallo!" screamed Frank at the top of his 
voice. " Is that you, Claude?" 

"Yes!" came the voice he knew so well. 

At the sound of Frank's voice the men stopped 

siaddenly, and turning into a field disappeared in 
IS 



»26 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

the gathering darkness. In a moment Clande had 
brought himself beside the mare. There was no 
smile on his face, no merry light in his eye, no 
healthy flush upon his cheek. He was pale, and 
(Frank could hardly credit his senses) looked 
frightened. His lips were quivering; there was 
a moisture that dimmed his eyes, and his little 
hands were folded. He looked very beautiful and 
very, very serious. 

"Why, Claude," exclaimed Frank, thoroughly 
alarmed, " what's happened?" 

Claude leaped up behind Frank, put his arms 
around his friend, and, pillowing his face on 
Frank's back, said: 

"Please don't ask me anything now, Frank. 
Give me a little time to myself ; but drive away 
from here; and let me pray. Oh, Frank, I've just 
made my First Communion!" 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

THE NEW TARCISIUS. 

WHEN Claude left Willie in the hands of the 
kindly but unintelligible German woman, 
he made bravely on to the village. After an 
hour's walk, it occurred to him that he had mis- 
understood her attempts at information. It was 
now drawing near the close of day and even Claude 
began to feel anxious and annoyed. If the village 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 22? 

which the woman had spoken of were a reality, 
it ought to be near. Claude gazed about him iia 
quest of some point for observation. The fields 
on either side were quite flat ; to his right rose a 
thick hedge which lost itself in the distance ; to 
his left the meadows were shut off from the road 
and divided from each other by the common rail 
fence. A few hundred yards before him and just 
outside the hedge towered a magnificent oak tree. 
This tree afforded Claude the coigne of vantage 
which he desired. Mounting it with the skill of 
long practice, he straddled a branch about thirty 
feet above the ground and with his eyes swept the 
unexplored country beyond. The woman had not 
deceived him. A mile or so distant loomed the 
tapering spire of a church, and further down the 
road passed through the very heart of a small 
village, upon whose roofs the sun was casting his 
parting beams. 

The prospect presented to his gaze was, at that 
hour of the afternoon, indeed beautiful, and Claude, 
who was heated from his long walk, was fain to 
dwell longer upon it from his sheltered bower. 
But even as he fed his eyes upon the wide sweep 
of landscape before him, he remembered Frank, 
and thought of the disquiet that his absence must 
be causing his guardian. He brought his legs on 
the same side of the branch, and was about to de- 
scend, when he observed two men within a short 



228 CLAUDE LIGNTFOOT. 

distance of him, walking over the ground he had 
so lately traversed. 

He paused to look at them; and, strange for 
Claude, was unfavorably impressed. One of them 
was a man beyond middle age, with a thick neck, 
heavy lips, and coarse features. His face wag 
covered with black bristles, while the hair of his 
head was sprinkled with gray. His companion 
was a thin, nervous man, young, beardless, with 
a pale, haggard face, and a scar slanting across 
the upper lip. His face, though not altogether 
lacking in refinement, was repulsive. The two 
were gesticulating and talking in tones of excite- 
ment. 

"Here's where we're to meet him, Delaney," 
said the elder man. "And it's a cool place, too," 
sa5''ing which he seated himself at the foot of the 
tree. 

" He should have been here by this time, Jor- 
dan, confound him!" snarled Delaney. "We 
want to loot the place before the priest gets 
back." 

"Bosh!" growled the other in a hard, metallic 
voice. " You've no nerve, man. The priest can't 
possibly get back before ten o'clock to-night. I 
sent him on a sick-call which will give him fifteen 
miles' ride there alone. You just keep cool, young 
man." 

" Do you know where everything is, Jordae?" 



CLAUDE UGH T FOOT. 229 

" Yes ; I know the lay of the church pretty well. 
In the room back of the altar " 

" The sacristy, yon mean. *' 

"Oh, bother the name! — there's two gold cups 
and one silver cup " 

"They're called chalices,'* put in Delaney. "I 
was an altar boy once." 

" Then," continued Jordan, " there's a lot of lace 
stuff." 

" Surplices, you ignoramus. " 

"Well, no matter; they're costly. The priest 
has rich relations in Germany, and they've been 
giving him lots of fine things. Those two gold 
cups came from Germany, and are worth taking." 

"What about the ciborium?" asked Delaney. 

Claude had not moved a muscle during this con- 
ference. He listened quietly, but with a face 
every feature of which had sharpened into eager- 
ness of attention. 

" Ciborium !" repeated the other. 

" Yes; that's kept in the tabernacle." 

"Talk English!" said Jordan. 

"You're a fool," cried Delaney, the cut upon 
his lip quivering and giving a most forbidding 
expression to his face. "Didn't you see a light 
in the church?" 

"Yes, it was burning before a sort of table." 

" Before the altar, you mean. Well, right above 
tJ^i^ table, as you call it. didn't you see a sort oi 



2 so CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

little house with a little door, and a keyhole 
in it?" 
"Yes." 

" Well, that's the tabernacle. Inside that there's 
a sort of goblet, covered with a veil of silk. The 
goblet maybe is of gold. If it's of silver then the 
inside is gold-plated." 

"Oh!" exclaimed the other with fervor, "I do 
hope it's of gold." 

" Well, in that cup they keep a lot of little white 
pieces of bread called hosts. The Catholics say 
that it has only the form and appearance of bread, 
but that in reality it is God the Son. " 

"I don't care what they think," grumbled the 
other. " But I hope the cup is of gold. " 

" But I do care," said Delaney, with his gashed 
upper lip curling so as to show his sharp white 
teeth. "I'll get even with 'em for making me 
believe that those pieces of bread were God. I'll 
get even with that cursed Dutch priest, who pre- 
vented me from marrying a girl because I stood 
up for Ingersoll. I'll take every host in that 
ciborium, and I'll break each one in bits, and I'll 
scatter them all about the church. Ugh ! what a 
fool I was the day I made my First Communion!" 

Claude turned pale as he caught these blasphe- 
mous words, and was within a little of losing his 
hold upon the branch. So that man below him 
had made his First Communion ! 



CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT. 231 

Jordan merely laughed. 

"They said I was a pious boy/* continued the 
other in low, scornful tones. " They meant that 
I was a fool. I might be a fool yet, if my father 
hadn't taken me from the Catholic school and sent 
me to finish at the high school, and stopped the 
Catechism business, and made my mother let up 
on religion. I began to see how I had been fooled. 
I read Ingersoll. He's my man; and I've got 
along first rate without the help of the Christian 
God." 

The language was hideous, the face in keeping 
with the language. 

" And so that man made his First Communion 
once upon a time," thought Claude, his face pale 
with horror. Then he thought of Ray, the young, 
the beautiful, the innocent. 

"Ah! here comes Monroe," cried Jordan, who 
paid no attention to Delaney's reminiscences. 
" Is it all right, Monroe?" he asked eagerly. 

"Yes," answered Monroe, producing from his 
pocket a large key. " Here's the key of the 
church. I sent the housekeeper a message from 
her sister who lives six miles north of here, and 
she bit at once. As soon as she left I got this key. " 

"What about the key of the tabernacle?" asked 
Delaney eagerly. 

"That's provided for. The priest, you know, 
carries the key af the tabernacle himself." 



23^ CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 

" Oh, we can smash the tabernacle,*' said Jordaa 

"That won't be necessary," said Monroe. 
"There's a key hanging on a nail behind the door 
in the sacristy ; it opens the wardrobe, but it hap- 
pens to fit the tabernacle too. You see I know 
things pretty well." 

"What else did you live in the village for?" 
asked Jordan. 

" I'll take care of that tabernacle," said Delaney. 
"And it would do me good to see how the people 
will look when they find they've been stamping on 
their hosts as they walk through the aisles." 

"I didn't know I'd get this key of the church 
door," continued Monroe, "and so first I thought 
we'd have to climb through the sacristy window. 
It's twelve feet high; but there's a lightning- 
rod beside it, and the window isn't bolted." 

"The key is a long sight better," said Jordan. 

" Well, why don't you fellows come on?" growled 
Delaney. " One would think that you had a week 
to do it in." 

" Yes : but before we start, the question is how 
shall we go?" 

"Oh, on the road of course," said Monroe. 

^' Won't we be seen?" asked Delaney. 

"There's next to no risk; because the people 
are mostly all, except the sick and an old granny 
or so, out on a picnic ; and I know for sure that 
they won't start back till the moon is up." 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 233 

"Yes: and it will be up pretty soon," cried De- 
laney nervously; "for the sun is down already. 
Come on." 

Jordan rose. 

"Now remember," he said impressively, "re- 
member that we're not to do any running, or show 
any signs of being in a great hurry; so that even 
if some one sees us, they won't think that we're 
up to any game. Step out now." 

Claude waited till they were gone some little 
distance, when he quickly climbed to the end of 
the branch on which he had been sitting, thus 
bringing himself on the inner side of the hedge. 
Then he swung himself to a lower branch, and 
from that dropped to the ground, a feat that few 
boys could have performed without injury to their 
limbs. Screened by the hedge, he broke into a 
light trot, picking each step as he went. The 
crackle of a twig, the rustle of a leaf, might attract 
the notice of the horrible trio preceding him on 
the road. As he drew nearer them, he became 
more wary. He stepped quickly, but he chose 
each foothold with an unerring eye. On he 
moved, light as a fairy, on, till he was abreast the 
men, and held his breath, and wondered whether 
they could possibly hear the beating of h{s heart. 
Slowly, surely, he advanced; slowly, lightly, 
deftly, till at length the men were many paces 
behind. Then Claude took a long breath and 



234 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

broke into a run, where earnestness and energy 
and love and determination lent wings to the 
natural speed of his feet. On he dashed, perfect 
master of his breath, the rich color mounting into 
his cheeks ; the breeze of the calm twilight sweep- 
ing his soft hair over his brow ; on he dashed till 
the hedge-row ceased, and a rail-fence stood before 
him. 

Not stopping even to put his hand on the 
fence, Claude leaped high in the air, and made 
on, nor did he even so much as turn his head to 
see whether the thieves were in sight or not 
Luckily a bend in the road shut him off from their 
sight. 

Very shortly the church was gained, and Claude, 
grasping the lightning-rod, went up hand over 
hand to a level with the window. It was the work 
of one moment to throw back the shutter and open 
the window ; the work of another to leap into the 
room, snatch the key from the sacristy and hurry 
into the sanctuary. 

It was rather dark in the church, so dark that 
for a moment Claude, coming out of the clearer 
light of the sacristy, could discern objects with 
difficulty. At the gospel side upon the altar rested 
the sanctuary lamp, its trembling flame shining 
through the red glass in honor of the Blessed 
Sacrament. 

Claude made a genuflection, ascended the altai 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 235 

steps, and fitting the key into the lock, threw open 
the door of the tabernacle. 

As he genuflected for the second time, he could 
distinctly hear the beatings of his heart. 

In the tabernacle, there was a veiled object. 
Claude removed the veil, raised the cover and 
holding the ciborium with trembling hands, 
looked down into its cup. 

There lay twelve consecrated hosts ! 

Imagine a man who after years of preparation 
and study has been ordained, ascending the altar 
to say his first Ma^. His limbs tremble beneath 
him when for the first time he pronounces the 
sacred words of consecration and knows that with 
the pronouncing of these words what had been 
bread before is now the body and blood, the soul 
and divinity of Christ. Very similar was the 
feeling of Claude as he gazed upon the sacred 
Particles. 

Here he stood face to face with Him who, 
although Ruler of earth and sky, had been bom 
m a stable, with Him who had been despised, 
insulted, put to death. He had conquered death, 
but He could still be insulted ; and it was Claude's 
oflSce to save Him. And as Claude fell upon his 
knees still holding in his hands the ciborium, he 
turned from Christ to himself ; at once in a long 
endless procession came his sins, his faults, his 
negligences, his bursts of an^er — ah I hr>yf ferriWe 



3S6 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

they looked. Sins! Against whom? Claude 
asked himself this question, and looking into the 
ciborium saw the answer. They were against 
Him who through love for us, through the desire 
of being ever with us to feed us with the Bread of 
Life, had for nineteen centuries borne the insults 
and outrages of thousands and thousands of brutal, 
ungrateful men. And with this thought, Claude 
made an act of contrition for the sins of his life. 
All these thoughts flashed through Claude's mind 
with incredible rapidity. These few moments 
crowded together thoughts that, in ordinary cir- 
cumstances, should occupy hours. Again a fit of 
trembling came upon him ; there were steps ap- 
proaching; the awful moment was come. For 
Claude was determined that not one of the conse- 
crated species should ever fall into the renegade's 
hands. They might take his life — that question 
he did not consider worth the dwelling upon. 
But think of it! He a small boy, who had but the 
night before flown into a passion, he was now to 
hold God in his fingers, and receive Him into his 
bosom ! 

Then surging upon his soul came all his sins 
like waves of menace ; his scrupulosity had reached 
the snapping point ; and as he heard the footfalls 
of the thieves ascending the steps of the church 
the scrupulosity snapped. 

Bowing his head, while tears, born of many aastd 



CLAXIDE LIGNTFOOT. ^37 

varied emotions, started to his eyes, he murmured 
reverently : 

"Lord, I am not worthy;" and with the words 
he took the hosts in his trembling fingers, and 
placed them in his mouth. Folding his hands in 
prayer, and turning upon the kneeling bench so 
as to face the door, he waited. Claude had made 
his First Communion ! 

The key turned in the lock; and three men 
entered, the atheist Delaney taking the lead. 

" My God!'* cried the atheist jumping back, and 
falling against Jordan. " What's that?" 

No wonder he started in terror. The church to 
those who had just entered out of the waning twi- 
light was quite dark, save within the radius of a 
few feet of the sanctuary lamp. And there within 
its radius Delaney *s eyes fell upon a face, fair, 
beautiful, sweet, composed ; the calm eyes looking 
straight at him — blue, calm eyes and open ; shin- 
ing with a sweetness, a sorrow, and a light such 
as would become an angel in human form stand- 
ing guard at a desecrated shrine. 

Jordan caught Delaney's hand, Monroe put his 
arms through Jordan's; and while Delaney would 
have taken to flight, the other two stood in stupid 
alarm. There was a silence. 

But Claude ! Happy Claude ! Those moments 
©f silence were the sweetest of his life. For in 
those fleeting seconds great waves of love flooded 



*3^ CLAUDE LIGHT FOOT, 

his soul, and great waves of light illumined his 
mind. He saw it now, he saw what he had failed 
to see in his adventure with Worden ; he saw the 
horror and ugliness of sin. There it rose before 
him stamped upon the souls and faces of the men 
who stood in the twilight at the door. Those 
three men represented sin. It was possible, he 
perceived in that moment of insight, to be a sin- 
ner without being a thief, a profaner of the 
Blessed Sacrament, a murderer — but, in the long 
run, sin was sin, and every sinner, no matter 
whether he were rough or gentle, high or low, 
rich or poor, every sinner in the world cast his lot 
in with these men — there might be a difference, 
but the difference was of degree, not of kind. 

Facing him there, was sin; but, — ah! what a 
gulf between them — next to sin, near to sin by 
the length of a church was Love, Incarnate Love. 
There was to be a choice between these two: Sin 
with its foulness; Christ with His love. No rea- 
soning creature of God's could escape the choice. 
And now the choice was given to Claude. In. 
answer his soul soared high in a blaze of love. 
The light, the true light, was within his bosom. 
He saw the light, he heard the voice, and, aided 
by the powerful graces that were finding full play 
of activity in his soul, he made an act of perfect 
love, and love drove out fear. Claude's scruples 
were- 8:one forever. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 239 

And so there was sin in the world. Claude had 
never before appreciated this sad fact ; but now in 
the light that poured upon him, he saw the mys- 
tery of life, and upon his spirit settled a sense of 
the sacredness of his own being. It was given to 
him to use ; for love consists not in words but in 
deeds. 

All these things flashed through Claude's mind 
while the three men stood pausing at the door. 

"It's a human being," whispered Jordan. "I 
saw tears on its face; it can't be a ghost." 

" I thought it was an angel," said Delaney. 

"Humph! I thought you didn't believe in 
God! Who's that?" called Jordan in a loud voice. 

Claude continued to pray in silence. 

"Are you a boy?" cried Monroe. 

No answer. 

"Well," said Jordan, "suppose we move up 
together. " 

The three stepped slowly up the middle aisle. 
As they advanced Claude rose to his feet. 

"Why, it's nothing but a boy," cried Delaney. 
" I see his clothes now. We must catch him be* 
fore we do anything else. Boy, come here." 

Claude neither spoke nor moved. He was 
watching his chance to escape, to bring away his 
life which belonged to God. 

With an oath, Delaney rushed at Claude. Just 
as he was about to put his hands upon him, Claude, 



^40 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

who had stepped upon a kneeling bench, leaped 
over the altar railing into the side aisle, and 
sprang for the door. The three were after him at 
once, and as he flew down the steps a bullet 
whistled by his ear. 

Then Claude heard Frank's welcome voice. 
He answered at once. But it was not the same 
Claude whom Frank had known that made answer; 
for in the few minutes that had passed before the 
tabernacle Claude had undergone a wondrous 
change, and the problem had been solved. 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

CONCLUSION, 

SHORTLY before reaching the house where 
young Hardy was staying, Claude, having 
finished his long thanksgiving, told Frank, in 
great simplicity of words, his strange adventure. 

Frank was so moved that he was hardly able to 
speak. At times during the narration he glanced 
over his shoulder, half expecting to see the throng 
of radiant angels, that must have made the prog- 
ress of his charge along this country road sacred 
and sweet with their lovely attendance. 

They found Rob Collins with Willie awaiting 
them at the house of the German woman. Speak- 
ing unconsciously in a whisper, Frank told Rob of 
the wondrous thing that had come to pass. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT, 24% 

Rob glanced at Claude, whose face still gave 
evidence of the holy thoughts and inspirations 
which so recently had enjoyed full play in his ra- 
diant soul. 

"Frank," said Rob in a whisper, "I remember 
when I was preparing for my First Communion 
how Father Maynard used to insist that one Com- 
munion could make a saint." 

"And now," said Frank, "you understand." 

Then Rob, at Frank's suggestion, rode to the 
village to tell the parish priest of what had hap- 
pened, and Frank, having hired two horses of a 
farmer, brought Claude and Willie back to the 
camp. 

It had been Frank's intention to break up camp 
on the afternoon of the following day. But now 
he resolved to hasten his preparations, so as to 
take the early morning train for Milwaukee. 

On reaching the city next morning, Claude w^at 
at once to his father's office. 

"Why, Claude!" exclaimed Mr. Lightfoot, 
jumping from his chair, " what brings you here?" 

Claude returned his father's kiss, and then told 
his story. 

Mr. Lightfoot was far more moved than Frank 
had been. The tears came to his eyes; he bowed 
his head to conceal his emotion ; and, when Claude 
had come to an end, he took his little boy in his 
arms, kissed him tenderly, and said: 



242 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

" God bless you, my little child. " 

Then he bowed his head upon his hands again. 

"Claude," he said presently, "do you think of 
going to Communion next Sunday?" 

"I'd like to, sir, very much." 

"Well, Claude, with God's help, I shall go t® 
Communion with you." 

And if Claude hereupon exhibited a joy of stir- 
prise which just fell short of dancing in its ex- 
pression, none of my readers should be astonished. 
Mr. Lightfoot had not approached the holy table 
for the past seven years. 

As the happy father and happy son took their 
way homeward, Claude after some hemming and 
stuttering, at length said : 

" Papa, I want to ask you one question. " 

"Certainly, Claude." 

"Do — do you think it was — American?" 

The people on the streets may have been aston- 
ished somewhat at Mr. Lightfoot 's answer to this 
simple question. Again he caught his boy up, 
and pressed him close. 

"Claude," he then said, "if you're faithful to 
your God, there's no danger of your being un- 
faithful to your country. You may go to Milwau- 
kee College as long as you like. " 

And again Claude was tempted to break into a 
^ort and simple dance of his own composition. 

"I have noticed," continued Mr. Lightfoot, 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 243 

**that there have been many men nntrtie to their 
religion and tintnie to their country at the same 
time; but I don't know of a single case in which 
a man living as a true Christian ever betrayed his 
native land/' 

The reader may imagine the joyous meeting 
between Claude and his mother. 

• •••••• 

Three months ago, Claude had been wild, im- 
petuous, and passionate. He had threatened to 
become ungovernable. Recklessness and a high 
temper, when they join forces, may bring about 
dire results. Frank Elmwood, in his first mo- 
ments of acquaintance with Claude, had read the 
youngster's character, and been puzzled by the 
problem. The solution had come about in a few 
minutes. And it had come from heaven. 

Claude, from the moment he made his First 
Communion, was a changed boy. And yet, in 
another sense, he is the same Claude. His smile 
is as genial, his laugh is as light, his limbs are as 
quick as when we first made acquaintance with 
the dancing sunbeam. He is different, in that he 
has been taught in one sharp yet sweet lesson of 
divine grace to reflect, to think ; to keep in mind 
that he is a responsible being. In class, he is 9 
model of behavior; at home, he is an earnest sttit 
dent ; in the playground, he is the leader of all his 
fellows; and every wher/^ he is happy as the day 



244 CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 

is long. As indeed is very natural, he misses 
Kate, who is finishing her studies at the Visitation 
Convent in St. Louis. It is possible that Claude 
will continue to miss her for years to come ; for 
Kate, charmed by the high ideal which the rule 
©f the Visitandines presents, and drawn by the 
modesty, holiness, and charity of those gentle 
ladies who live so sweetly and graciously the 
same hidden life that gave us a Blessed Margaret 
Mary, has already made application to be received 
into their ranks. And Claude is indeed pleased 
with his sister's choice. Of course, he will miss 
her at times. But he will not suffer from lone- 
someness. Claude, at the present writing, has a 
little brother two years of age ; and I am given to 
tmderstand by Mrs. Lightfoot's lady friends, who 
appear to be experts in such matters, that a finer 
child than Frankie Elmwood Lightfoot never 
opened his eyes upon the delightful city of Mil- 
waukee. If one can judge by Claude's attentions 
to the infant, he too is of the same opinion. Mrs. 
X*ightfoot, I am glad to say, is no longer an invalid. 
On the very day that Claude, under such startling 
circumstances, made his First Communion, his 
mother experienced a decided change for the bet- 
ter ; and she maintains to this hour that it was the 
fervent prayers of her dear little boy which brought 
about this change. 

Claude still cherishes the picture of Tarcisius. 



CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. 245 

Whenever he looks at it, he thinks of his First 
Communion, and wonders whether he shall ever 
again feel so unspeakably happy in this world. 

Who knows? Should Claude, in the years to 
come, ascend the altar some day as the legitimate 
minister of the Blessed Sacrament, I dare say that 
his heart, kept pure and spotless, let us hope, by 
the singular graces of God, shall throb at the 
awful words of consecration with a bliss even more 
unspeakable than the bliss with which it throbbed 
when he made that memorable First Communion 
by which the problem was solved. 



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DEVOTION, MEDITATION, BIOGRAPHY, 

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I. INSTRUCTION, DOCTRINE, APOLOGETICS, CONTROVERSY, 

EDUCATIONAL 



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Spalwng, 
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11. DEVOTION, MEDITATION, SPIRITUAL READING, 
PRAYER-BOOKS 



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ni. THEOLOGY, LITURGY, HOLY SCRIPTURE, PHILOSOPHV, 
SaENCE, CANON LAW 



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600 pages, 2100 entries, net, 

$12 00 
RITUALE COMPENDIOSHM 

Qoth, net, $1.50, seal, net, $$M. 
SPICIAL INTRODUCTION Tf 

USE STUDY OF THE OL® 

TESTAMENT. Gigot. Part I. 

net, tf$4.7S; Part II, net, 

m.oo. 

T^^TUAL CONCORDANCE QiF 
THE HOLY SCRIPTWRBS. 
WiixiAMS. net, $».75. 



IV. SERMONS 



^IGHT- MINUTE 

PSMOUY' 2 vols. 



SMIMONS. 
net, $5.50. 



FUNERAL SERMONS. 
O.S.B. net, $2.25, 



Wmv, 



HINTS TO PREACHERS. 

HsmY, Litt.D. net, $2.25. 
Pdp£AR SERMONS ON THE 

(^^ECHISM. Bamberg-Thurs- 

xm* S.J. 3 vols., net, $7.50. 
SERMONS. Canon Sheehan. 

mt, $3.00. 
SERMONS. 

$2.50. 
SERMONS 



Wbelan^ O.S.A. neV, 

FOR THE SUN- 
DAYS AND CHIEF FESTI- 



VALS OF THE ECCLESIAa^ 

TICAL YEAR. Pottgeisseb, 

S.J. 2 vols., net, $7.00. 
SODALITY CONFERENCES. 

Garesch±, S.J. net, $2.75. 

First Series. 
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THREE-MINUTE HOMILxTES. 

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V. HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, HAGIOLOGY, TRAVEL 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN 

OLD BREVIARY. Heuser, 

D.D. net, $2.00. 
CATHOLIC NURSERY 

RHYMES. Sr. M. Gertrui>e, 

M.A. Retail, $0.25. 
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OF ARC. Mannix, net, $1.60. 
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CHURCH. Brueck. 2 vols., 

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IDBALS OF ST. FRANCIS OF 

J»SISI, THE. Felder, O.M. 

C*p. net, $4.00. 
ILLUSTRATED LIVES OF PA- 

tRON SAINTS FOR BOYS. 

M^JSTNix. net, $1.25. 
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TRON SAINTS FOR GIRLS. 

Man nix. net, $1.25. 
IMMOLATION. Life of Mother 

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Martiny . ) Laplace - Newcomb. 

net, $3.75. 
JN THE WORKSHOP OF ST. 

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$1.75. 
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CITTLE PICTORIAL LIVES 

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS. But- 
ler. Paper, retail, $0.35; clothe, 
net, $1.00. 
LOURDES. Clarke, S.J. net^ 

$1.00. 
MARY THE QUEEN. By a Re- 
ligious, net, $0.75. 
MILL TOWN PASTOR, A. Con^ 

ROY, S.J. nef, $2.00. 
OUR NUNS. Lord, S.J. net, 

$2.50. 
OUR OWN ST. RITA. Corcoran. 
PASSIONISTS,THE. Wajrd,C.P. 

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PATRON SAINTS FOR CATH- 
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Sold only in packages contain- 
ing 5 copies of one title. 
For Boys: St. Joseph; St. 
Aloysius; St. Anthony; St 
Bernard: St. Martin; St. 
Michael; St. Franeis Xavier; 
St. Patrick; St. Charles; St. 
PhiKp. 
The above can> be had bound in 
J volumcj cloth > net, $1.00. 
For Girls: St. Ann; St. Agnes; 
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The above can be had bound ia 
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Illustrated, net, $3.00. 

SHORT LIFE OF CHRIST. A. 
McDoNOUGH. ReJtail, $0.15. 

SHORT LIVES OF THE 
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net $0.40. Also an edition in 

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VI. JUVENILES 



FATHER FINN'S BOOKS. 

Each, net, $1.25. 

CANDLES' BEAMS. 

SUNSHINE AND FRECKLES. 

LORD BOUNTIFUL. 

ON THE RUN. 

BOBBY IN MOVIELAND. 

FACING DANGER. 

HIS LUCKIEST YEAR. A 
Sequel to "Lucky Bob." 

LUCKY BOB. 

PERCY WYNN : OR, MAKING 
A BOY OF HIM. 

TOM PLAYFAIR; OR, MAK- 
ING A START. 

CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT; OR, 
HOW THE PROBLEM WAS 
SOLVED. 

HARRY DEE; OR, WORK- 
ING IT OUT. 

ETHELRED PRESTON; OR, 
THE ADVENTURES OF A 
NEW COMER. 

THE BEST FOOT FOR- 
WARD; AND OTHER 
STORIES. 

"BUT THY LOVE AND THY 
GRACE " 

CUPID OF CAMPION. 

THAT FOOTBALL GAME 
AND WHAT CAME OF IT. 

THE FAIRY OF THE 
SNOWS. 

THAT OFFICE BOY. 

HIS FIRST AND LAST AP- 
PEARANCE. 

MOSTLY BOYS. SHORT 
STORIES. 
FATHER SPALDING'S BOOKS. 

Each, illustrated, net, $1.50. 

THE INDIAN GOLD-SEEKER. 

STRANDED ON LONG BAR. 

IN THE WILDS OF THE 
CANYON. 



SIGNALS FROM THE BAY 

TREE. 
HELD IN THE EVER- 

GLADES. 
AT THE FOOT OF THE 

SANDHILLS. 
THE CAVE BY THE BEECH 

FORK. 
THE SHERIFF OF THE 

BEECH FORK. 
THE CAMP BY COPPER 

RIVER. 
THE RACE FOR COPPER 

ISLAND. 
THE MARKS OF THE BEAR 

CLAWS. 
THE OLD MILL ON THE 

WITHROSE. 

THE SUGAR CAMP AND 

AFTER. 

ADVENTURE WITH THE 

APACHES. Ferry, net, $0.73. 

AS qOLD IN THE FURNACE. 

Covm, S.J. net, $1.00. 
AS TRUE AS GOLD. Mannix. 

net, $0.75. 

AT THE FOOT OF THE SAND' 

HILLS. Spalding, S.J. nett 

$1.50. 

AWAKENING OF EDITH, THE. 

Illustrated. Specking, net, $1.50. 

BEST FOOT FORWARD, THK 

Finn, S.J. net, $1.25. 
BETWEEN FRIENDS. Aume»lk, 

net, $1.00. 
BISTOURI. Melandri. net, 

$0.75. 
BLISSYLVANIA POST-OFFICE 

Taggart. net, $0.75. 
BOBBY IN MOVIELAND. Finn, 

S.J. net, $1.25. 
BOB O'LINK. Wag<3Aman, net^ 



$0.75. 

BROWNIE AND I. 
net, $1.00. 



AVME«» 



«BUT THY jLOVE AND THY 

GRACE." Finn, SJ. n^, $1.25. 
BY BRANSCOME RIVER. Ta©- 

GART. net, $0.75. 
CAMP BY COPPER RIVER. 

Spalding, S.J. net, $1.50. 
candles' beams. Fink, S.J. 

net, $1.25. 
CAPTAIN TED. Waggaman, net, 

$1.25. 
CAVE BY THE BEECH FORK. 

Spalding, S.J. net, $1.50. 
CHILDREN OF CUPA. Mannix. 

net, $0.75. 
CHILDREN OF THE LOS 

CABIN. Delamare.. ne», $1.00. 
CLARE, LORAINE. "Lee." net, 

$1.00. 
CLAUDE LIGHTFOOT. Finn, 

S.J. net, $1.25. 
COBRA ISLAND. Boyton, S.J. 

net,, $1.25. 
CUPA REVISITED. Mannix. 

net, $0.75. 
CUPID OF CAMPION. Finn, 

S.J. net, $1.25. 
DADDY DAN. Waggaman. net, 

$0.75. 
DAN'S BEST ENEM.Y. Hchxand, 

S.J. net, $1.50. 
DEAR FRIENDS. Nirdlingbr. 

net, $1.00. 
DEAREST GIRL, THE. Taggart. 

net, $1.50. 
DIMPLING'S SUCCESS. Mul- 

HOLLAND, net, $0.75. 
ETHELRED PRESTON. Finn, 

S.J. net, $1.25. 
EVERYDAY GIRL, AN. Crow- 
ley, net, $0.75. 
FACING DANGER. Finn, S.L 

net, $1.25. 
MIRY OF THE SNOWS. Finn, 

S.J. net, $1.25. 
FINDING OF TONY. Wagga- 
man. net, $1.50. 
FIVE BIRDS IN A NEST. 

Delamare. ne&, $1.00. 
FRED'S LITTLE DAUGHTER. 

Smith, net, $0.75. 
FREDDY CARR'S ADVEN- 
TURES. Garrold, S.J. net, 

$1.00. 
FREDDY CARR AND HIS 

FRIENDS. Garrold, S.J. ne&. 

$1.00. 
GOLDEN LILY, THE. Hinksqw, 

net, $0.75. 
GREAT CAPTAIN. THE. Hinio. 

SON. net, $0.75. 
HARMONY FLATS Whitmire, 

net» $1.00. , 



HARRY DEE. Finn, S.if- «#f,' 

$1.25. 
HARRY RUSSELL. Copus, S.J. 

net, $1.00. 
HEIR OF DREAMS, AN. O'Mai^ 

ley. net, 0.75. 
HELD IN THE EVERGLADES. 

Spalding, S.J. net, $1.50. 
HIS FIRST AND LAST AP- 

PEARANCE. Finn, S.J. net, 

$1.25. 
HIS LUCKIEST YEAR. Finn, 

SJ. net, $1.25. 
HOI-AH! McDonald, net, $1.50. 
HOSTAGE OF WAR, A. Bone- 
steel, net, $0.75. 
HOW THEY WORKED THEIR 

WAY. Egan. net, $1.00. 
INDIAN GOLD-SEEKER, THE. 

Spalding, S.J. net, $1.50. 
IN QUEST OF ADVENTURE. 

Mannix. net, $0.75. 
IN QUEST OF THE GOLDEN 

CHEST. Barton, net, $1.00. 
IN THE WILDS OF THE 

CANYON. Spalding, S.J. net, 

$1.50. 
JACK. Byt a Religious, H. C. J. 

neti, $0.75. 
JACK-O'-LANTERN. Waggaman. 

net, $0.75. 
JACK HILDRETH ON THE 

NILE. Taggart. net, $1.00. 
KLONDIKE PICNIC. A. Don- 

nelly, net, $1.00. 
LAST LAP, THE. McGrath, 

S.J. net, $1.50. 
LITTLE APOSTLE ON 

CRUTCHES. Delamare. net^ 

$0.75. 
LITTLE GIRL FROM BACK 

EAST. Roberts, net, $0.75. 
LITTLE LADY OF THE HALL, 

Ryeman. net, $0.75. 
LITTLE MARSHALLS AT THF, 

LAKE. Nixoif-RouLET. ne^, 

$1.00. 
LITTLE MISSY. Waggaman. net^ 

$0.75. 
LOYAL BLUE AND ROYAL 

SCARLET. Taggart. net, $1.S0, 
LORD BOUNTIFUL. Finn, S.J. 

net, $1.25. 
LUCKY BOB. Finn, S.J. net, 

$1.25. 
MADCAP SET AT ST. ANNE'S. 

Brunowe. net, $0.75. 
MAD KNIGHT. THE. Schacb* 

IN®, net, $0.75. 
MAKING OF MORTLAKJ^ C* 
, pus> S.J» net, $1.00. 



MAKING THE ELEVEN AT 
ST. MICHAEL'S. Ukiack. iwP, 
$1.50. 

»CAN FROM NOWHERE. Sad- 

LKR. n€t, $1.00. 

MANGLED HANDS. Boyton, 

SJ. net, $1.25. 
MARKS OF THE BEAR 

CLAWS. Spalding, S.J. net, 

$1.50. 
MARTHA JANE. Specking, net, 

$1.50. 
MARTHA JANE AT COLLEGE. 

Specking, net, $1.50. 
MARY ROSE AT BOARDING 

SCHOOL. WiRRiEs. net, $1.50. 
MARY ROSE GRADUATE. Wir- 

RiES. net, $1.50. 
MARY ROSE KEEPS HOUSE. 

WiRRiEs. net, $1.50. 
MARY ROSE SOPHOMORE. 

WiRRiES. net, $1.50. 
MARY TRACEY'S FORTUNE. 

Sadlier. net, $0.75. 
MILLY AVELING. Smith, net. 

$1.00. 
MIRALDA. Johnson, net, $0.75. 
MOSTLY BOYS. Finn, S.J. net, 

$1.25. 
MYSTERIOUS DOORWAY. 

Sadlier. net, $0.75. 
MYSTERY OF CLEVERLY. 

Barton, net, $1.00. 
MYSTERY OF HORNBY HALL. 

Sadilier. net, $1.00. 
KAN NOBODY. Waggaman. net, 

$0.75. 
NEW SCHOLAR AT ST. 

ANNE'S. Brunowe. net, $1.00'. 
OLD CHARLMONT*S SEED- 

BED. Smith, net, $0.75. 
OLD MILL ON THE WITH- 

ROSE. Spalding. S.J. net, 

$1.50. 
ON THE RUN. 

$1.25. 
ON THE 

Boyton, 
1PAMELA' 

net, $1.50. 
PANCHO AND PANCHITA. 

Mannix. net, $0.75. 
PAULINE ARCHER. 

net, $0.75. 
PERCY WYNN. Finn, 

$1.25. 
PERIL OF DIONYSIO. 

net, $0.75. 
PETRONILLA. D©nwbxly. 

$1.00. 
FICKLE AND PEPPB3R. Dwm»y. 

mt^ $1.75. 



Spalding, S.J. 

Finn, S.J. net. 



SANDS OF CONEY. 
S.J. net, 
S LEGACl 



$1.25. 
^Y. Ta«gailt. 



Sadliek. 
S.J. net, 
Mannuc. 



net. 



PILGRIM FROM IRELANB. 

Carnot. net, $0.75. 
PLAYWATER PLOT, THE. 

Waggaman. net, $1.50. 
QUEEN'S PAGE. THE. Hink* 

SON. net, $0.75. 
QUEEN'S PROMISE. THE. 

Waggaman. net, $1.50. 
QUEST OF MARY SELWYN. 

Clementia. net, $1.50. 
RACE FOR COPPER ISLAND. 

Spalding, S.J. nefi, $1.50. 
REARDON RAH! Holland, S.J. 

net, $1.50. 
RECRUIT TOMMY COLLINS. 

Bonesteel. net, $0.75. 
ST. CUTHBERT'S. Copus, S.J. 

net, $1.00. 
SANDY TOE. Waggaman. net, 

$1.50. 
SCHOONER AHOY! McDonald. 

net, $1.50. 
SEA-GULL'S ROCK. Sand(Eau. 

net, $0.75. 
SEVEN LITTLE MARSHALLS. 

Nixon-Roulet. net, $0.75. 
SHADOWS LIFTED. Copus, S.J. 

net, $1.00. 
SHERIFF OF THE BEECH 
Spalding, S.J. net. 



Waggaman. net. 



BAY 
net^ 



BAR. 



FORK, 

$1.50. 
SHIPMATES. 

$1.50. 
SIGNALS FROM THE 

TREE. Spalding, S.J. 

$1.50. 
STRANDED ON LONG 

Spalding, S.J. net, $1.50. 
STRONG ARM OF AVALON. 

Waggaman. net, $1.50. 
SUGAR CAMP AND AFTER, 

Spalding, S.J. net, $1.50. 
SUMMER AT WOODVILLE, 

Sadlier. net, $0.75. 
SUNSHINE AND FRECKLES* 

Finn, S.J. net, $1.25. 
TALISMAN, THE. Sadlier. net^ 

$1.00. 
TAMING OF POLLY. Dorsett. 

net, $1.75. 
THAT FOOTBALL GAME. 

Finn, S.J. net, $1.25. 
THAT OFFICE BOY. Finn, S.J- 

net, $1.25. 
THREE GIRLS AND ESPE* 

CIALLY ONE. Taggart. n^ 

$0.75. 
TOM LOSELY; BOY. Copus, 

S.J. net, $1.00. 
TOM PLAYFAIR. Fink, S.X. 

net, $^1.25. 



10 



5h?^j<~7 



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University Libraries of Notre Dame 






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